Monday, May 22, 2017

Communication Confabulation



When it comes to education about medication, there are some people who should pay particular attention: CNOs, DONs, chief medical executives, physicians, nurse managers, nurse supervisors, risk managers, pharmacy directors, and lead pharmacists are all critical leaders in this process. This information is also essential for nurses, hospitalists, pharmacists, mid-levels, PA’s, CNA’s, case managers, and - let’s not forget – IT, who are absolutely vital when it comes to electronic medical records.

I don’t know about you, folks, but everything – groceries, my to-do list, things I need to pack when I travel – are easier to remember when I make a checklist. Why don’t we make a checklist for medication education?

Consider This
First: make sure you have the patient’s full attention when you explain medications, possible side effects, and what to do if the patient experiences them. 

Second: we have to empower patients to ask any questions they have about their medications.

Third: be constantly vigilant for patients who are reluctant to ask questions, rarely complain, and avoid using their call button for help. You’ve got to assure them there’s no such thing as a “false alarm” in reporting what they think is a harmful side effect. Use the phrase “we always want you to be safe.” Remind them that there’s no blame or shame in calling attention to how they feel. 

Urge patients not to put themselves in jeopardy. Potential side effects are a very real concern.

Education Checklist
Here is the checklist for educating a patient about a new medicine.
Explain to patients:
  • the name of the medication.
  • what the medication is for
  • how it works
  • how and when to take the medication
  • what to do if a dose is missed.
The Take Away
In addition to your being healers, all bedside caregivers are also teachers. You educate about meds. But you also, in your time with your patients, share knowledge about diet, nutrition, exercise, stress management and adherence to regimens.
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