medicine’s public enemy #1 in florida, ms. lynn savage is resting easy. criminal trespassing charges from her refusal to leave her daughter’s side during a medical crisis have been dropped. firstcoastnews.com
ms. savage’s daughter’s physician asked her to provide support during the treatment. her daughter had a stroke and has limited ability to communicate. when visiting hours (which included covid-19 protocol) were over, a hospital nurse demanded that ms. savage leave. she refused. she asked the nurse to call the doctor to confirm her need to stay. the nurse reportedly refused to make the call. as a result, she continued to refuse to leave. this led to an arrest and national headlines. firstcoastnews.com
the next chapter in this saga will be occurring. with ms. savage’s daughter may require further medical attention. there is likelihood that she will be returning to the hospital where the incident occurred.
the hospital is now forced evaluate the situation. if ms. savage’s daughter comes to the facility, will they allow ms. savage attend? how should the hospital respond?
the hospital should take a step back and realize something important. in the world of professionalism, often both the human element and total picture is lost. doctors can prescribe medications and recommend post-care treatment. these items can include wound care, home therapy, and dietary restrictions. once the patients leave the hospitals or medical facilities, family members and friends are those likely to take on the role of providing the continued medical care.
thus, doctors and nurses should be reminded of the following: who are the individuals picking up their patient’s medications? who are the individuals making sure the medications are taken? who are the individuals changing dressings on wounds? who are the individuals assisting with medical devices at home? who are the individuals preparing food within the dietary protocols? who are the individuals observing any changes in condition? who are the individuals bringing the patient back to the doctors for follow up?
thus, doctors and nurses must understand that their success and reputations can be improved or diminished by the patient’s families and friends. they serve as part of the health team whether the hospital likes it or not.
thus, medical providers must take the time to understand and appreciate the roles of family members and friends. they should not be viewed as distractions but rather as a another tool in the medicine bag.
a perfect example of this assistance comes from my mother. after my father was discharged from an extensive cancer surgery, he came home on sunday. during that the course of the week, he had a cough that persisted till friday. my mother decided to take him to the doctor before the weekend. as a result, he was immediately admitted into the intensive care unit with a blood clot in his lungs. her concern over a medical symptom saved his life. while the doctors who treated him in the icu were able to reduce the clot, it was a family member’s medical observation and action that played an essential role in saving his life.
thus, uf health north in florida should open their doors to ms. savage. the physician who treated her daughter, and her, should provide a brief seminar to the all of the hospital’s staff as to the value of working with families and friends to improve the hospital’s patient care. medical providers must understand that the team effort treat patients extends beyond their staff.
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