Patient Centred Care
Being caring and compassionate is an unique talent and sometimes sadly often gets forgotten about and falls by the wayside. We are all human beings and sometimes we all need to take a step back and grasp how valuable our lives are and that of loved ones.
I want to share my story. This is the first time I have written a blog, so please be “patient” with me.
In November 2015 I started my new job in clinical education. I was excited and yet in a way I wanted to prove to myself and others how valuable education is in this forever changing healthcare environment.
Approximately 3 weeks into my new role, the Respiratory Team contacted me concerning a patient with a complex condition. It was a 59 year old male who had severe emphysema and required an Under Water Sealed Drain (UWSD) to try and reinflate his left lung. The damage was so severe it became evident that the UWSD could not be removed or his lung would continually, spontaneously collapse.
“IT WAS HIS LIFE LINE”.
I walked into the side room in Ward 12 to introduce myself. With hos blue eyes he gazed up at me looking slightly anxious. Giving him a good firm handshake, I smiled and said
“Hello John, my name is Sharon”
I’m a great believer in “non-verbals” as it delivers communication and initially builds upon a trusting relationship. And indeed it did as from then on it had a huge impact.
As my father always said…
“Sharon a good solid handshake goes a long way”.
John was palliative. He had not long retired and to get devastating news about his diagnosis and outcome was so sad. His ultimate wish was to get back home to spend the rest of his short life left with his beloved family.
I made a point of seeing John everyday in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. It was essential to build up that relationship. During the 2 weeks I delivered education on how to care for a patient with an UWSD. Approximately 30 nurses received education, Kirkcudbright Hospital Staff, District Nurses and Rapid Response Team. As you can imagine there was a lot of anxiety, fear and uncertainty amongst the nurses. This was actually the first patient to get discharged to Kirkcudbright Hospital with a UWSD. John was fully aware of my role and was updated.
The time had come, John was ready for discharge. Understandably so, he was very anxious. I took the decision to actually go in the back of the ambulance with him to Kirkcudbright Hospital. Holding his hand and bantering away we both arrived to our destination. We were pleasantly greeted by the nursing staff. They knew John as he was a local from the town and had received care from them in the past.
His family were so supportive especially his daughter Michelle, whom I have now made a lifelong friend.
John managed to continue life for 7 months in Kirkcudbright Hospital. Unfortunately he did not get his wish to go home but in all fairness the care he received from the hospital staff made his last few months comfortable and to have that precious time with his family. He managed to celebrate his 60th birthday with his family. It was an emotional, uplifting day.
I guess what I’m trying to say folks….
“Going that extra mile” was so successful and beneficial. I would certainly do it all again.
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Sharon Shaw is Clinical Educator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway