Updated: 5 days ago
Speaking with administrative staff, several nurses at Apachee Hospital, in Wikoshee, Michigan, agreed that medical advice offered by patient's family members, far surpassed anything they learned in school and new rules should be put into place to incorporate the family's medical expertise into every patient's care.
Taking the nurse's concern and experience seriously, Apachee Hospital will be instituting a couple of new rules as of January 1, 2021. The first of which will require every visitor of a patient to wear a large lanyard around their neck designating their profession. (e.g. carpenter, stock broker, teacher).
“Everyday we get a lot of valuable medical advice from family members about the care we are providing their loved ones," charge nurse Stacey Segenski said. "We thought we knew we what we were doing given our medical backgrounds and the top scientific research that backs up our treatment plans but according to the families, we're wrong and we have no idea what we're doing. That's why we've asked the administration to support our decision to require all visitors to identify their professions, by wearing a large lanyard around their necks."
“We often hear from family members that there is a "medical professional" in the family and typically, we put that person on speaker phone so that they can share with us what medication and treatments we should be providing," said Director of Nursing Jane Mezzoritti. "We take this medical advice very seriously, making sure to have each of our nurses document the new and improved care plan in the patient's chart and immediately update the physician on all the changes that are being made to the patient's care."
The new rule requiring all visitors to wear large lanyards identifying their profession will create an environment of collaboration for patients, their families and medical staff. The lanyards will allow nurses to ask questions about a family member's profession and at the same time question that family member's ability to perform their own jobs adequately. "This interaction will help both nurses and the families of patients to collaborate in a meaningful way and provide a higher quality continuum of care," added Director Mezzoritti.
Just recently one of our nurses, Jacqueline Jones, CRN, noticed a family member, who had identified himself as a manufacturing salesman, had a print out of metoprolol. "Oh, I see you have a print out giving you the drug information for Metoprolol," she mentioned to him as she was checking in on the patient. "No, it's actually Lopressor," said the salesman who then turned to the patient and said "See, I taught that nurse a thing or two today. And to boot, she kept saying Metropolol, not Metoprolol and then going on about some generic drug. It's a good thing you have me and that I did my research."
The second rule Apachee Hospital will be instituting as of January 1, 2021 is the installation of computers outside of each patient's room. "To tackle some of the questions and confusion about the care we provide our patients, we'll be setting up computers outside of each patient's room, configured with easy access to Google, WebMD, and Ask Jeeves," said Director Director Mezzoritti. "We'll also have printer’s setup and give the patient's families an unlimited amount of paper to print out everything they find on the patient's condition and be able to share that information with our nurses," Dr. Mezzoritti added.
While this change in patient care is likely to add hours of work each day for nurses at Apachee Hospital, especially during report and shift change, it will likely result in improved satisfaction amongst nurses due to the free education they'll be receiving.
The new rules at Apachee Hospital will fall under a policy called, “Family Recognition."
We here at Next Move Inc. look forward to following up with this story and seeing how the patient and family interactions continue to grow at this hospital.
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