As our strategic plan moves forward in the health area, we are given a useful reminder in the New York Times of the value of instinct in alerting people to potential medical crises. The Times article focus on the instincts of nurses, and is fascinating. I have done a blog that asks if we can also take value from the intuitions of the family and the patient themselves
I suspect that we could “train” patients and families to be much more mindful about patient monitoring, including how to trust their instincts and how to communicate their feelings to the medical personal. This, of course, should be accompanied by training of medical staff on how to take the most advantage of, and how to solicit such communications. It is not hard to construct model ways of doing so.
I suspect that when things work, that is very much happening in our long term care facility already. Nurses and care staff know the patients, and communicate with them regularly. It makes such sense to empower them to raise their concerns, to train and encourage family and resident to do so too, and finally to ensure that all medical personnel not only listen to, but affirmatively seek such help as part of an inclusive team.
I am sure that this will fit in well with our general themes of community cultural change and inter-generational initiatives, as well as the specifics of modern geriatric medicine.