First up in this week’s news for nurses is a look at some important research on follow-up care for pediatric patients who have been hospitalized. We all know how important the discharge instructions are with all patients, but some nurses still cut corners when releasing patients from care, especially pediatric patients.

Sending Kids Home From Hospital

Child-Girl-Hospital-DischargeResearchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center surveyed parents after pediatric hospital discharge to find out what they understood about their child’s care at home. Parents and caregivers were invited back to the hospital thirty days after discharge for a focus group discussion and survey.

In one hour and a half meetings, parents were queried about their child’s hospital stay and discharge process. The resulting responses led researchers to the result that parents felt “in a fog” regarding caring for their child once they got home. There was a lot of stress surrounding copious and difficult to understand discharge instructions for care that parents weren’t prepared to hear or understand.

Nurses Cutting Discharge Corners

This comes back to my belief that too many nurses are cutting corners with discharge instructions when patients are sent home. Don’t get me wrong. I understand. You are understaffed, you have a new patient coming up to fill that room as soon as it is vacated and cleaned so you’ve got that on your mind, not to mention the other patients on your list. You’re busy. This is why the whole process needs to be revised.

Some have proposed that hospitals have a nurse give a follow-up call for the parents. I think that is not even enough. Here’s the study I’d like to see. Patients are discharged and receive a call after they get home the first night to resolve any questions that occurred to caregivers on the ride home. Then they either receive a follow-up call the next day or, better yet, a home nurse visit to revisit the discharge instructions, help set up follow-up appointments if needed and make sure prescriptions are filled and supplies are present for things like dressing changes.

We have to stop sending people home and washing our hands of their care as if they are no longer our patients once they leave the property. I’m sure you have an opinion. What do you think? Leave a comment here at NursingShow.com or shoot me an email with you thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Diabetes Vision Loss Risks Mitigated and Episode 373.

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