Friday, May 11, 2012

Patient Discharge - What Did You Say?

Speaking Up for the Advocate
I was invited to be at the hospital before the patient went for surgery and was confident I would have time to stay following her surgery.  I knew her husband would be there so it was important that I didn’t try to “replace” him.
My role is to be sure he has his voice as the husband and primary caretaker for the patient when she comes home the same day she has surgery – probably too soon.  When I got there I saw that her body was marked, she had a warm blanket, she was getting antibiotics and they had the patient’s list of allergies and medications.  Everything seemed to be going fine.
I left with the husband, he went to have lunch.  I came back in a couple of hours.  The surgery was successful he told me and his wife was sleeping.  He got to see her following the surgery.  He had no questions.  I thought we waited long enough.  I suggested we go see her and we were greeted by the nurse while the patient  was groggy  in the hospital bed slowly coming to.
“I went over all the discharge information with the patient” the nurse told us.  I asked the husband if he knows the plan.  He shook his head.  “Since the patient slept through your instructions, I suggest you now tell her husband” I told the nurse.  She wasn’t happy but explained the plans to both of us.  It’s no wonder there are so many problems at discharge!

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