What a way to start a week! I had an idea of what this week would be like, but not to the extent of the material in which it would encompass. First thing this morning, we touched on a subject that hit so close to home: the difference between the thought processes and communication processes between nurses and physicians. The first activity of the day included a video of the Lewis Blackman story. There are so many events/problems that occurred between all interdisciplinary members of the team. One of the issues being that Lewis was not admitted post op to a medical-surgical floor for post-op management/observation; rather he was transferred to an oncology unit. No matter how we are trained, if we don’t regularly treat and manage a certain population, we need refreshers on what we should be looking for, and how to manage their care.
In the video we also heard from Lewis’s mom that he was to undergo an elective surgery where the risks of the procedure were not fully explained nor expected. Today risks for common procedures i.e. central lines, arterial lines, intubation…etc. are so little touched on that as providers, the risks are downgraded that patients and their families have little knowledge about the “what if’s”, and what treatment this could potentially require for the patient. As a nurse, I will not sign an informed consent if I personally was not in room with the physician. I also will ask the patient or the family to explain the procedure in his or her own terms so that I know that they fully understand the procedure that is about to take place. I will also explain the risks i.e. the potential development of a pneumothorax that occurs from central line placement. There are so many changes between the ways we communicate interpersonally between all members of the medical team, but also how we communicate to patients and families who have no medical background. We must also consider the added emotional stress of the fact that their loved one is in the hospital for treatment. With the stress of the situation, patients and their families may not be able to comprehend everything we are saying them in order to make the “informed” consent. There is so much we can learn from this story and I’m excited for what this week has to offer.