Quote of the Day

8.07.2008

medical log-book

If you have a very ill or injured hospitalized loved on, whip out your notebook and start recording things. Vitals signs taken? write them down. What he ate? write it down. WHY?

Because there are many wonderful nurses, aides, and care-givers out there. Dozens of conscientious hard-working and underpaid people who are looking after your loved one. And there are a handful of duds who regret their career choice and are not doing their best. If they know you are vigilantly documenting your loved-one's care, they are less likely to take out their frustrations on your family member.

I can't tell you how many medical workers, when noticing that we were logging, took us aside to whisper encouragement to us. They too know that there are a few bad apples, and family members who log are part of the solution.

This post is an offspring of my how to help a family with a medical emergency that lands them in I.C.U. post, but I put it here separately so that you can print it and take it in to the family you are concerned about.
~Suzanne


edited to add in this great addition by Shelby:
This is great advice. The notebook is also a great place to jot down any questions you have for the doctor. We found that if we wrote things down immediately when we thought of them, we didn't forget to ask the doctor. We also took notes every time the doctor visited the room (depending on the condition, this may be once a day or it may be more). Even when it seemed like we would remember what the doctor said, we wrote it down anyway, and invariably we ended up going back to the notebook and saying, "Oh yeah, the doctor mentioned blahblahblah--I'd forgotten."

It's also a good idea to continue the notebook once you're home, particularly with a chronic condition. We found it made a huge difference when we were trying to square away my medicine as far as getting the right dose, figuring out what was causing what side effects, and what seemed to be helping (or not).


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1 comment:

Shelby said...

What a great list! I would add that in most cases visiting would be great. It is so boring sitting in that hospital room all day long, someone popping in for just 10 or 15 minutes really breaks up the monotony.This is great advice. The notebook is also a great place to jot down any questions you have for the doctor. We found that if we wrote things down immediately when we thought of them, we didn't forget to ask the doctor. We also took notes every time the doctor visited the room (depending on the condition, this may be once a day or it may be more). Even when it seemed like we would remember what the doctor said, we wrote it down anyway, and invariably we ended up going back to the notebook and saying, "Oh yeah, the doctor mentioned blahblahblah--I'd forgotten."

It's also a good idea to continue the notebook once you're home, particularly with a chronic condition. We found it made a huge difference when we were trying to square away my medicine as far as getting the right dose, figuring out what was causing what side effects, and what seemed to be helping (or not).