Friday, July 28, 2017
Helping at the Hospital
The surgery went well. There was no infection. The medication was correct and the patient didn’t fall. So why was this 24-hour hospital stay so awful that the patient talked about it for almost an hour as one of the worst experiences this patient ever had?
The humane and respectful behaviors we all expect from those caring for us were missing. A cup of coffee when the patient requested it, the phone and remote within reach, retrieve a fallen pillow on the floor, some crackers, a response to the call bell are just some of the things that can make a patients experience better in the hospital. We all recognize that hospital staff are often overworked or short staffed yet a friendly response to a patients request can mean the world.
Families often need to work or go to school and can’t sit by the patient’s bedside. But having someone available to meet these needs can really change the patient’s perspective of how their care was. And yes, it can mean a better outcome. If the patient got out of bed to reach what fell on the floor and fell, that could cause serious injury and a substantial cost to the hospital and patient’s insurance. Eating inappropriate food brought in by loved ones because the patient didn’t have anything else to eat, might cause a problem with healing causing a longer hospital stay.
So, even though a patient may be sharing that there was the lack of comfort care, there are some concerns of patient safety that can be addressed. If you know someone going to the hospital, even if you have no patient safety training, consider bringing a book and sitting in the waiting room and check on the patient every 15 minutes. You won’t be a burden and you can be sure the patient is getting what they need.