Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Patients 2

During my shift yesterday one of the nurses called me to the nurses station. She informed me that our Emergency Medical Assessment Unit which is sort of like a buffer after A&E where the patients get sorted to the appropriate wards, has a patient for us. A female in her eighties, she had a fall(as old ladies do) and sustained no injury. She had asthma which was well under control with the use of her salbutamol inhaler and there were no other obvious medical or psychological abnormalities. I asked why this patient wasnt checked out in A&E and sent home. The nurse assumed that there must be more to the patient than her notes led us to believe.

The nurse was wrong. What we had was a lady in her eighties who was fully mobile and self caring with no apparent medical problems besides her asthma....what we had was a patient who was in better condition relative to her age than any of the staff on the ward.

She is a lovely lady and i'm glad we werent sent another high care patient. However her being in hospital despite more than adequate social means for discharge and no medical treatments to be performed is costing in the realm of £900 a week to the tax payer. She doesnt want to be in hospital as shes going to miss her weekly cards evening with the ladies from her church group. Why was she admitted? why is she still on the ward?

On another note one of my favourite patients died yesterday. I know its unethical to have favourites but you cant help it, you treat all patients the same but you do become fond of some more than others. This upset me as I was certain he was going to be one of the ones who walked out of the place. I was holding it together up until his daughter told me she was grateful to me for taking such good care of him and that he really enjoyed spending time with me. I didnt cry but my voice broke rather spectacularly.


Sage said...

It must be hard, but rewarding work, when you get to see patients leave but more so when their relatives thank you for what you did to make their stay more comfortable.


Asclepius said...

:) thanks. This patient dying was really the only way he was going to be happy, He's given up a long time ago. No matter how advanced the medical and nursing interventions are, when a patient gives up they are living on borrowed time.