Improved Shift Changes of Nurses Could Reduce Accidents in Hospitals
A visit to the hospital is generally full of worry and uneasiness for both the patient and his family and friends. That uneasiness can sometimes be lessened by getting to know the nurses and staff that will be assisting you or your loved one. However, sometimes when the nurse who has been taking care of you leaves at the end of a shift, confusion can ensue regarding medication schedules and the particularities of a patient’s needs.
A new trend in hospitals has acted to reduce the post-shift-change confusion. At the end of a shift, the current nurse and the nurse that will be taking over meet with the patient and the family to discuss what has been done previously and what will need to be done during the new nurse’s shift. This meeting seeks to reduce the number of accidents in hospitals from medication errors and falls.
Often when a patient is in the hospital, there are any number of tubes connected to the patient for medication, feeding, breathing, etc. The shift-change meeting will go over what is currently in place and any requirements for the nurse. For example, when a patient has tubes connected to their bodies, they likely need assistance going to the restroom. The patient could trip over the lines and badly injure themselves without proper supervision.
Also, the nurses discuss the medication schedule with the patient and the family in order to guarantee that the proper amount of medication is administered and the nurse taking over does not give an extra dose of medication that the patient has already received. This is incredibly vital especially if the patient is currently prescribed for a particularly powerful drug, and the amounts must be closely followed.
While the main goal is to make the transition smoother and eliminate errors, a collateral effect of the bedside conference with the two nurses is that the patient is given peace of mind. When the nurses take the time and actually meet with the patient, the patient feels important and not just like another box on the nurse’s checklist. This leads to improved relations with the nurses and improved satisfaction from the patient.
Although it is rare that a hospital stay is pleasant, this new conference being employed by nurses can help to make the stay as nice as possible. However, accidents still happen. If you have been injured in a hospital due to the negligence of the staff, please contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757-455-0077 for a free, no obligation consultation.