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HELPING OUT

GETTING FAMILIES INVOLVED WITH PATIENT CARE ON THE ICU HELPS EVERYONE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

If you were given a chance to help care for your loved one in the intensive care unit, would you do it?  Rhonda Wyskiel, an intensive care nurse at Johns Hopkins and one developer of a family involvement menu, says families really love it.

WYSKIEL: These are words from their mouth, they felt empowered, they felt like part of the health care team, they felt like they have control again in a time when they have lost complete control of the person that they love most in the word, and they’re so pleased that in this kind of environment, we are offering them a chance to give back to the person that they love.      :22

Many hospitals don’t have such a system in place, but Wyskeil says you can broach the subject.

WYSKEIL: Start with the bedside nurse. Say to that nurse, you know, I really would like to somehow participate in the care of my loved one and say, if there’s anything I can help with I would really be eager to help.     :12

You may have to garner multiple permissions but Wyskeil says nurses, too, come to welcome family involvement because it benefits their patients.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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