My BSN clinical experience has been very eye-opening.
I feel like I have learned so much about how hospitals function, and yet know I have so much more to learn. To be embraced and invited into the executive meetings and to see the processes that occur to make change within an organization with patient care as the bottom line has been so refreshing. I know that the grass is always greener, and it may just be because I am looking over the fence, but I am impressed with their transparency in their practices.
Today when my preceptor was showing me a report for infection control, it made me realize just how many people are involved in the care of every patient that walks through the doors of a hospital. We know that as nurses on the that we can’t take care of our patients all by ourselves. We need the help of doctors, aids, other nurses, and other departments. What I don’t think most nurses think about is just how much goes on behind the scenes to make patient care a reality.
As nurses, we are on the front line of healthcare. But, do any of us any idea of just how many people are involved in the care of our patient. How many people are involved in the charting processes alone? If you think about just the people in your hospital, and not even about software developers and equipment manufactures, how many people play a role in the care of your patient?
I couldn’t even begin to quantify the number, but it just goes to show that the care of a patient is bigger than just the nurse, the doctor, and the patient. I’ll try to start a tiny list of the people that I know of that are a link in the chain, and lets just assume that in this particular encounter, the patient has presented to the ER with complaints of abdominal pain.
Starting in the ER:
- Admissions in ER
- Triage Nurse in ER
- Nurse(s) in ER
- Patient Care Tech(s) in the ER
- Doctor in the ER
- X-Ray and CT Technicians
- Pharmacy Tech(s)
Then We Move to the Floor:
- Receiving Nurse
- Charge Nurse
- Patient Care Tech(s)
- Pharmacy Tech(s)
- Lab Tech(s)
- Radiology Tech(s)
- Dietary Aid(s)
Then We Consult a Surgeon and
the Patient Goes to OR:
- Physician Assistant
- OR Nurse(s)
- PACU Nurse(s)
- Surgical Tech(s)
- OR Secretary
And then Back to the Floor, and the amount just grows and grows. Even after the patient is discharged And I know I have likely left off a multitude of professionals of this crude list, but it just shows just how it takes a village to care for a patient.
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The chart itself and the access of the information on it are managed by clinical applications specialists. Depending on your hospital, that may be 1 person or a team of people. The information technology department has so many people who play a vital role in the function of a hospital and the care of a patient but often are not recognized for the very real impact they make on the care of a patient.
Next time you take care of a patient, just stop and think about how many other people are there, visible to you or not, helping you to provide excellent patient care across the continuum.
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