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Because of the severity of the illness or traumatic injury of the patients in the ICU, much is involved in their care. That is why communication between the patient (if possible), their loved ones and members of the ICU interdisciplinary team is so important.
If possible please select one family member or friend to be the primary contact as this helps avoid confusion and ensures all questions and concerns get answered. Having questions written is also helpful. The primary contact can also be the designated keeper of the code that will be required in order for the patient's medical information to be released over the phone. At Littleton Adventist Hospital we are committed to protecting personal medical information from any use for which it was not intended. This code identifies the caller as someone we can provide information to and helps protect the patient's privacy, in compliance with federal regulations (HIPAA).
If needed, family conferences are offered to update members on the patient's condition, treatment options and prognosis. The goal of these conferences is to identify a course of treatment that should be taken based on the patient's preferences and values.
We understand that each patient's case is specific and complex - and thanks to the ICU nursing staff's expertise, the unit continues to receive recognition and praise from its patients and staff.
Lorna Prang, RN, MS, CCRN
Nightingale Luminary Award for Excellence in Human Caring.
"Most of our ICU nurses have five or more years of critical care nursing experience," says Lorna Prang, RN, MS, CCRN, clinical nurse specialist in critical care at Littleton Hospital and 2011 winner of the prestigious Nightingale Luminary Award for Excellence in Human Caring. "New graduate nurses working in the ICU must first complete a 12-week preceptorship, a 12-week mentorship, online critical care courses, and 40 hours of hands-on clinical labs. The program is strenuous, but the nurses who complete it are truly exceptional."
A Dream Team
Intensivists (physicians who specialize in intensive care), respiratory therapists, case managers, palliative care nurses, clinical pharmacists, chaplains, a core group of nurses, and many others maintain the ICU's reputation throughout the South Denver metro area.
"It's a real pleasure to work with such an outstanding team," says Prang. "Serving our patients and their families with compassion and providing exceptional care remain our top priorities."
From the August 2011 issue of
Your Health Your Hospital
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