“Sometimes when you delve deeper into a patient’s background, you understand their challenges and it helps you become more patient and understanding,” says Ferline Rome, Operations Support Associate in the Diagnostic & Treatment Center (DTC).
Such was the case last Thursday when Ferline and several nurses assisted an elderly woman sent for testing to check for pneumonia. She had not planned this visit, but came directly from her primary care physician in the professional building so she was somewhat disoriented.
While running tests, staff learned that she was hard of hearing and also had dementia. They were pleased to rule out pneumonia and prepared to discharge her, but were wary of how she was going to get home.
“Tamara Baker, RN and Suzette Prince, RN took great care of her before she became my patient,” said Sarah Atrushi, RN. “When Ferline and I began talking with the patient about going home, she seemed confused. We called a number she provided, but it turned out to be a wrong number. We looked on her chart and found an emergency contact. It was a family member, but he lived in Dublin and could not assist with a ride.”
Ferline and Sarah explored calling a taxi or Uber, but the patient then insisted she had driven to the doctor’s office that day and she would drive home, even though it was now dark. The next challenge for the staff was locating the patient’s car. After a lengthy search, Ferline and Sarah delivered the patient to her car. As she prepared to drive off, the patient rolled down her window and yelled “I love you all. Thank you all.”
Ferline and Sarah called the patient that evening to check on her well-being. The patient had made it home safely and again expressed her gratitude.
“I am proud of the efforts our DTC staff made to assist this patient,” said Jim Forstner, CEO. “They embody the IREACH standards which continue to drive our patient-centered care. Thank you Ferline, Sarah and all the staff in DTC who went above and beyond to assist this woman while she was at Emory Decatur Hospital.”