A very contentious and angry male patient was very problematic in the sense that he would yell and scream whether he was answering or asking a question. The nurses had it with him, understandably so. There was something about this individual that I wanted to know more about. The Question I asked “Will you be willing to share with me what’s important to you?”
His answer in a loud, frustrated and scared voice “attending my granddaughter’s wedding!” Next question, “Are you concerned that you will not be able to attend?”
“Yes, I am afraid I will not make it to December, to her wedding.”
If memory serves me correctly, it was June or July and I reassured him that we recognize what’s important to him and will collaborate in meeting his goal to attend his grand daughter’s wedding.
We made sure that he had a cardiology appointment within a week post discharge, a primary care physician (PCP) visit in 2 weeks, medication pick up, home care interventions including pill box which he did not have.
There were phone calls, communication with cardiologist and Primary care physician. He was not readmitted and in November he called and was so happy and thankful and told us that his son told him he would be walking his granddaughter down the aisle at his granddaughter’s wedding. The team was emotional. We were so happy for him.
The take away was that if you never laid in a hospital bed as a patient, it’s difficult to understand the trauma, fears of a potential life threatening condition that may change one’s personality and coming to grips and defining what’s important in life is now a priority.