Greetings and with all due respect to hospital administrators. You have a difficult job, keeping the balance between doctors and nurses (some of whom are un-balanced) and the rest of the staff running smoothly, or just running. You aren’t afraid of suggestions, are you? Well, then, use your smiling (albeit even if you don’t feel like it) visages to approach this thought.
Your facility could be “on the map” even more than it currently is. Be the hospital that stands out from the rest if you follow this one revolutionary suggestion for stroke survivors.
Before I tell you what “it” is, don’t tell me you can’t afford it because, truth be told, it’s the missing piece. Doctors and RNs and the rest of the staff don’t need perks, like the spreads you lay out for them, to keep them loyal. Just saving on food alone could make this idea more of a reality. If they really want to help people, and I’m sure most of them do, they’ll stay put in your hospital. And your salary more than justifies my proposal. Ready?
When a stroke patient is admitted, have a psych team at the ready as soon as the patient is awake and comprehending, who reads the survivor some strict rules every day for at least a week BEFORE therapy starts. Crying will most likely happen. And that’s all right. Emotional release.
Let me give you background on this thought because I’ve been thinking about it ever since I had my stroke eight and a half years ago.
I was depressed (it went on for a year, less and less after that) and thus, at times, I was non-compliant. I was in a coma for 8 days and didn’t talk for 5 weeks. And that was the easy part. What’s the tough part, you ask? From the time I started talking, I would always ask questions at Bacharach Rehabilitation in Pomona, NJ, questions that could have been answered by the not-yet-formed psych team before I started therapy.
Instead, a question to the therapist: “What happens if I don’t do leg lifts?”
An answer from the therapist: “Just do them, ok?”
An answer from the not-yet-formed psych team: “Do everything the therapist says or else you’ll be in a wheelchair longer.”
A question to the nurse: “Why should I wear support stockings?”
An answer from the nurse: “Because you should.”
An answer from the not-yet-formed psych team: “Do everything the nurses say or else you’d delay getting better.”
A question to the doctor: “Do I really have to wear the eye patch for double vision?”
An answer from the doctor: “Didn’t you comprehend what I just told you?”
An answer from the not-yet-formed psych team: “Do everything the doctors tell you because they’re trained to give you good advice.”
A psych team. For at least a week. Every day. Before therapy starts. To get stroke survivors ready to bust their asses and cooperate with the staff. Who’s ready? Anyone? Anyone? Contact me through email and I’ll go anywhere in the continental US to make this happen.
I have thoughts indeed.