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The Importance of Direct Patient Care

by Lux Joseph 1. August 2014
Nursing care differs all around the world. From the United States to Africa to China, a registered nurse may have different responsibilities, guidelines, and even patient care protocols. In the United States, hospitals are now starting to shift the nurse’s focus to where it should have been a long time ago: patient care. A variety of hospitals and medical centers look at patient care as medication administration, dropping off meals, filling out shift paperwork, looking for missing test results, and searching for supplies. But out of all of those tasks, do any of them focus 100% on the care of the patient? The answer is, no! For years nurses have been trained to focus on the operations of the hospital, but Commercial Medical Escorts knows that patient care is our top priority.
 
Research has found that the more dedicated time nurses spend  at the bedside of their patients, the less likely patients are to suffer falls, infections and medication errors, and the more likely they are to be satisfied with their care. Commercial Medical Escorts designed its program to be patient focused from the initial point of contact and throughout the entire transport. We believe that this concentrated focus on the patient improves their morale, reduces any anxiety about flying, and improves their overall transport experience. In the hospital setting, studies have shown that nurses may spend less than two hours of a 12-hour shift in direct patient care. Individuals want to be loved and cared for. For some patients, the hospital staff is their only human contact they experience on a daily basis if they don’t have family or friends visiting. It is important that this shift in patient care continue amongst hospitals worldwide.
 
It is critical for organizations to recognize the talents and abilities of their employees and contractors and use them to their advantage. Why is a nurse hunting down a battery for a piece of equipment in a hospital when their time could be better spent comforting and caring for a patient? Every organization has positions for individuals and there are tasks that relate to some positions better than others. For those working in hospitals, there are certified nurse assistants and other less highly skilled staffers that can be looking for that battery and the nurse can focus on patient care. At Commercial Medical Escorts, our nurses and physicians focus on patient care 100% of the time. When they get to the airport, porters push the wheelchair while the nurse assists the patient into the wheelchair, comforts them, and ensures their medical needs are cared for. By shifting tasks to the more appropriate personnel it reduces the number of inefficient processes.
Some hospitals have started to transition to a more patient focused atmosphere by having pharmacists deliver medications to patient floors, locating common patient supplies within the patient rooms, and even placing tablets and computers in the patient room so the nurse can fill out the patient medical chart while still interacting and being close to the patient; not behind the nurses station away from the patient. Some of these changes seem small, but the impact on patient care is huge. As nurses have more time to spend with the patient and their families, they are able to care for the patients more closely and educate them on follow-up care once they leave the hospital.
At CME, there are numerous times that our nurses arrive to hospitals and the nurse senses the patient is being “pushed out” of the facility. An aging population means sicker patients with more complex needs, yet hospital stays are much shorter than in the past. Patients are getting discharged sooner than usual and their follow-up care is more complicated. Nurses focused on patient care are what are important to the healthcare industry, the hospital, and more importantly the patient. Nurses want to be doing what they entered the profession for, not doing inefficient things that any individual could do.
Patricia Rutherford, a nurse and vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement says “We shouldn’t’ be using expensive professional nursing time doing unnecessary and inefficient things when that time could be reinvested in direct patient care.” Increased direct patient care allows the nurses to be an advocate for the patient. The nurses and patients are able to establish and create a bond that has a positive impact on the patient. At CME we believe patient care is the number one priority. Patients should be able to feel comfortable communicating their needs and concerns. Every patient CME transfers, the nurse visits the patient prior to the transport to complete a full assessment, get to know the patient, and create that connection that will ensure 100% positive patient care. 

Meet Isabel

by Lux Joseph 27. July 2013

 

CME is privileged to have some of the best critical care nurses on our team to assist should an unfortunate circumstance arise in which you need a medical escort. Our nurses and physicians exceed the industry standards; they are required to have 5+ years critical care experience, ACLS, Trauma course, PALS, flight physiology, and many are much more qualified. Today we are introducing to you our nurse based out of Atlanta, GA. Isabel has been with CME for over five years and you will learn today why her patient’s love her. Below is Isabel’s perspective of flight nursing:

What is your most enjoyable part of this job?

The most enjoyable part of this job is meeting people from all over the world, to learn from their cultures, caring and assisting for their medical needs, and to provide genuine care and comfort for my patients’ sicknesses while abroad. This type of care, for me, is a totally different approach to nursing compared to that in a hospital setting.

Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing?

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but came to the United States and became a citizen in 1994. I am extremely proud to be an American citizen. I graduated from Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia. I have experience in Geriatrics, Psychiatric, Medical Surgical, Counseling Rehab, Spinal injuries, Wound Care, and Trauma. I have worked in a hospital ER setting for the past thirteen (13) years, and as a flight nurse for the last five (5) years.

What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that?

My most interesting transport was from Aruba to Vancouver, Canada. I assisted a client with an open wound to his groin which required a wound vac during the transport. Surgery was impossible at that particular time due to the wound placement. I had to use my wound care expertise and some improvisation, to provide a safe and comfortable, as well as private, environment to care for my patient on such a long trip. This client was a high risk for total amputation (castration) due to the severity of the wound. Luckily, the client arrived at his destination with no further problems thanks to the support and care he received from the CME team. After every transport I follow up with my patient to see how they are doing. This patient in particular had a complete recovery, and amputation was not necessary. I still talk to this client and his family periodically. 

Please describe a challenging trip and the outcome of it?

My most challenging trip to date was a transport from Italy to New York City. My client became very ill after landing. As I was transporting him in a wheelchair toward the passport checkpoint, his heart rate dropped significantly low, and he became breathless. I activated the call to 911 and asked for an AED, but no one came to assist immediately. I was able to manage getting him to the Immigration point, and successfully restored his breathing. At the same time, I was somehow able to calm his extremely panicked wife. The client survived the vasovagal episode. 

When assistance from my 911 call arrived to take him to the nearest ER, the patient totally refused their help. His comment to them was “I don’t need you now! When I was breathless and sick earlier you didn’t come to my rescue! Why do you think you are going to tell me what to do now?” The patient’s vital signs were stable and within normal limits. The patient was then safely transported by the CME team to his local emergency room, where his physician was waiting. I transferred care over to the doctor and ER team in stable condition.

When you are not flying what do you do?

When I am not working for CME, I am working full time in an ER at a local hospital. On my days off, I care for my 81-year old mother who lives with me. I also enjoy going to the gym, and spending quality time with my husband.

Before I became a nurse, I was already addicted to flying and traveling. I was a flight attendant for the Venezuelan Air Lines for a period of fourteen (14) years. Since I was four years old, there were two jobs that I dreamed of: being a nurse, and flying! CME has given me the opportunity to do both!

What would you tell future clients of CME?

CME is a well-organized company with a caring, knowledgeable, sympathetic, and experienced staff which strives to meet our clients’ needs on each and every transport. I am very proud to be part of the CME team. CME‘s goal is to provide the best care to our clients – and their families. 

I recommend to anyone who needs professional care needs in the future to choose CME for your travelling needs. You will surely have a SMILING FACE and PEACE OF MIND. 

Meet Amanda

by Admin 7. November 2012

 

Amanda, originally from the UK but now residing in New York, is one of the many qualified nurses that work for and help make our company what it is.  She has lived in Switzerland, Barcelona, and France and has traveled extensively through both her personal and professional life.  She has over 25 years of nursing experience and still loves every minute of the work she does.  Amanda is uniquely qualified to work for a career as a medical escort due to previous experience working as a flight attendant as well as her many years in the nursing field. 

Many of our nurses enjoy the chance to travel abroad and gain experience they would not normally get in other careers.  Amanda says her favorite place to visit is Jordan because the people are very friendly and the Black Sea and Petra are amazing.  She says some of the best advice she could give to someone travelling is to” go with your gut feeling on a trip, to be curious but aware.” 

During a trip she spends a lot of time getting to know her patient and planning for the travel ahead, making sure she knows as much as she can and making sure she has contingency plans in place.  But during her downtime on trips waiting for flights she enjoys exploring the cities she finds herself in.  She always tries to find time to rent a bike and explore or grab a meal at a local “funky” restaurant. 

Her favorite part of the job is that it is so interesting and varied.  One minute she can be making dinner for her husband and two children and the next she can be preparing to fly to Estonia.  She says it adds adventure to her life, that there is a mystery and surprise around every corner.  She is very thankful that her family and especially her husband support her and rather enjoy a couple days of independence.  When she is not flying she is home with her family or playing squash with her friends.

When asked about what she would like to tell future clients, Amanda says the most important thing for patients to realize is that we are not an insurance company, that we are a separate entity whose job is to make sure that a patient gets transported in a safe manner that does not cause anxiety or pain. 

All of us at Commercial Medical Escorts are proud of our medical staff and so thankful that we have wonderful people such as Amanda to rely on.  Thank you for all of your hard work Amanda!

 

(Medical Escorts Blake Yturralde and Amanda Smrcka with patient in the Air India VIP Lounge at JFK airport.)


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