When is the Right Time to have THE TALK

 Hi all!  Welcome back to Michelle on Your Side.  For those of you who are recieving this on my original page, I hope you will follow me from my “wordpress” site to my self-hostessed site.

Thank you  for joining me for another part in the series How Safe are you in the hospital. Today we are going to continue chatting about ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe when in the hospital by the things you do before you go into the hospital. We are going to talk about having “THE TALK” or #theconversation.

I  just returned from a visit to St Louis area where I grew up and lived most of my life. (I now live in Las Vegas). While I was visiting St Louis I stayed with my dad and stepmom. The conversation inevitably turned to family and specifically my Uncle Andy who passed away April 28, 2018.

My Uncle Andy was a Christian, a Vietnam veteran, a Husband, a Father, a Grandfather, a Brother, an Uncle. Although he was only 70 years old, he had been suffering from a chronic illness for quite some time and on April 23, 2018 he was taken gently to join his parents and his son Charles in heaven. He was one of the lucky ones. His family knew and accepted his wishes. He wanted to be allowed the privilege of being free from the pain and suffering he was going through. A pain where every breath was a struggle. And he wanted his loved ones at his side.

He wanted to be free.

His wife, Aunt Velma and his kids chose the hardest thing they will ever do, they followed his wishes. And though they still have pain and think of him everyday,they have the peace of knowing they followed his wishes. That is true unconditional unselfish love.

The Boyer Clan

As the conversation continued between my dad, Sharon and I we had THE TALK.  Let me tell you, I have this talk almost daily at work, but it’s a whole lot easier to have it with strangers whom I’ve know for seconds, minutes, hours than it was with my family. I want you to realize how important it is to let your loved ones know your wishes for end of life. It is important that YOU know what your wishes are.

Brothers and Best Friends

No one wants to have this talk. It is uncomfortable

  • 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important.
  • 27% have actually done so.

However everyone knows how important it is. 

  • 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is extremely important.
  • 56% have not communicated their end-of life wishes.

  Here’s a few questions to open the conversation.

  • What do you value most about your life? (independence, health, being with family)
  • If the doctors gave you the diagnosis of a terminal illness, would you pursue every possible treatment?
  • Do you want to die at home?
  • How do you feel about a very long hospitalization?
  • How much pain is tolerable to you?
  • Do you want to be with your loved ones when you die?
  • What decisions regarding care do you want to entrust to others and who specifically do you want making these decisions?
  • What do you hope for most regarding your death?

Think about these questions on your own first. Know what your answers are before you and your loved ones talk. Also, know that I am not discouraging full treatment, do everything, want to live as long as possible. If that is your desire the doctors and nurses will stand behind you. We just want you and your family to know what your wishes are.

Just follow these 4 steps

  1.  Look at the above questions. Know YOUR answers.
  2. Record those answers in the appropriate document.
  3. Discuss your decisions and your wishes with your loved ones and others who need to know.
  4. File or store any paperwork or electronic files you have produced, and distribute copies to the right people.

Source: Survey of Californians by the California HealthCare Foundation (2012)

Here is Advance Directive forms listed by State from AARP.

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/free-printable-advance-directives/

How does this keep you safe in the hospital? I hope that is obvious. So you get the treatment you desire, nothing more and nothing less.

If you don’t mind I’d like to add one last picture of my Uncle Andy.
Uncle Andy holding me
Be free Uncle Andy! You deserve it!

Talk to you soon!

Michelle on Your Side

 

 

 

 

 

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Watch Me Grow

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michelleonyourside.com

Hi all! Thank you all for following me! I am changing my blog to from “wordpress.com” to a self hosted site! While this is extremely exciting to me, it’s a little scary too! What about my followers?

Well, I have to ask you all to follow me to this new arena. You’ll still get the same old Michelle. I’ll just have more freedom by self hosting. 549882054c34e2f4e4de18ac4d9e46bd

ANYWAY, Stick with me. This is going to be fun and educational and entertaining!

 

 

 

Here’s the link to my newest blog:

https://michelleonyourside.com/2018/08/01/when-is-the-right-time-to-have-the-talk/

 

See you in the new place!

Michelle on Your Side

https://michelleonyourside.com/2018/08/01/when-is-the-right-time-to-have-the-talk/

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Defense Medical Exam Observation

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Hi! I wanted to take a quick minute to thank all of our readers and followers. Michelle on Your Side has been read by people in 15 countries! I feel honored that you took time out of your day to read my blog.

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THANK YOU!

Today I am stepping away from my current series on How safe are you in the Hospital. I am going to focus on the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) arena. As a CLNC, I work with a group of nurses from a wide variety of healthcare backgrounds; Lynn Belcher LNC Associates. This group was hand selected by our founder/CEO Lynn.

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Check out our associates bio’s here: https://lynnbelcherlnc.com/associates-profiles/

We have a wide variety of services and these will be discussed in future blogs but basically we can assist attorneys with any case that has a medical aspect. We have all gone through training and are certified.

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Today I would like to shine a light on our Defense Medical Exam (DME) observations. All of our associates have been trained in DME procedures. They will politely and professionally communicate with the examiner to uphold the DME Response to Demand stipulations.

This service includes the following:

  • We will contact your client prior to the appointment
  • We will prep your client for the exam in an attempt to decrease anxiety
  • We will stay with your client from the time they arrive until the appointment is complete
  • We will audiotape the entire interaction
  • We will provide you with a written report detailing the reaction of the client and the examining physician. (things you can not see from an audiotape)watchful owl

Why have a nurse at a DME?

  1. An attorney or legal assistant may observe the exam but not be aware of the testing being performed or if it is being performed correctly due to their lack of medical training.
  2. According to Forbes, January 4, 2018 nurses are the most trusted professionals in America.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/01/04/americas-most-and-least-trusted-professions-infographic/

Your client will feel reassured having a representative with them to protect their rights that understands and can explain what is happening. Lynn Belcher LNC Assoiates will assure accuracy and fairness in your personal injury litigation.

Contact us now to schedule attendance at your client’s DME.

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Talk to you soon!

Michelle on Your Side

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Knowing Yourself Could SAVE Your Life

bright cardiac cardiology care

Hi! Welcome Back to Michelle on Your Side. I’m really excited to continue this series on How Safe are You in the Hospital? This week we are going to talk about what you need to do in your everyday life that will make a difference if you are ever hospitalized.

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Let’s start before we get to the hospital if we may.  Everyone needs to have their medical history in writing. Everyone? but I’m not sick, I don’t have a significant medical history.  Why do I need to write a history, I can remember the few things I’ve had done?  This is to prepare for the worst case scenario. What if for some reason you can’t tell those caring for you what is in your history? Or maybe you are just really nervous and leave out something major. Have your medical history in writing and keep it updated as necessary.people in front of macbook pro

Let’s be honest. MOST people do have a medical history and although you may not think it is important, the doctors and nurses that are caring for you in an emergency might just find it literally life saving! It would include surgeries, illnesses, allergies.

I’ve had a patient tell me he had “no medical history” but upon physical assessment I noticed a scar going down his chest. I asked him what the scar down his chest was from, “Oh, I had heart surgery when I has a teenager” Ummmmm, that is significant. It is important that you give us all the information you that you can to allow us to save your life. Don’t think anything is insignificant and we don’t need to know. selfcare

Next, be specific. Don’t tell us you have heart problem. There are a LOT of different heart problems, do you want us to guess which one you have? Or do you want to wait until all of the tests come back to tell us?  (I’m using heart problem as an example because it is the most dangerous, common and varied) 

adult care cure doctor

In order for you to be specific about what kind of medical problem you must have a conversation with your primary doctor. You have to understand what he/she is saying to you. If he is speaking “medicalese” ask him to clarify in a way that you understand. You have to know your diagnosis. You don’t have to know how to say it, you may not understand fully what it means but just having the diagnosis in writing might save your life.

I have reviewed  several medical history forms/binders and this one of my favorite sites for a printable medical binder is  https://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/medical-binder/

Finally, be honest with us about your medical history. We have heard worse. Whatever is in your history, we are not here to judge you, we are here to help you. But we can not help you if you are not honest with us.i will take care of you

 

Yes, I am asking you to write things down. When we get to the actual hospital visit I will talk in depth about this, but for right now, take a few minutes,  sit down and write out your medical history.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you picked up a couple ideas you can implement in your life.

Talk to you later!

Michelle on Your Side

https://lynnbelcherlnc.com/

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links:

https://www.healthyplace.com/

https://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/medical-binder/

How SAFE are You in the Hospital?

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How safe are you in the hospital? No really, I’m asking you, how safe do you think you are in the hospital? Johns Hopkins did an eight year research study which showed that over 250,000 patients a year die from medical errors. That medical errors are the THIRD leading cause of death.

med errors

That one in every three people admitted to the hospital will experience a medical error. Let’s repeat that, 33% of everyone in the hospital will receive treatment not meant for them. One more time, if you are in a private room either you or one of the people on either side of you will experience care that is not optimal, but rather, was actually WRONG.

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Let me say right here, let me shout it from the mountain top, I am a nurse advocate. I have been a nurse, in a hospital for over 20 years. I believe that God has given nurses and doctors the ability and the skill to heal with His assistance. I believe that hospitals are places of healing and growth. But I also want you to be aware of the real danger that you are in.

I asked nurses nationwide and in all different disciplines of nursing “Any thoughts on how to make patients safer in the hospital?” Boy did I get an earful. Some were serious, some not so much. My favorite response came from Jenna, a flight nurse, ” No idea! I thought it was so dangerous I left to fly around in helicopters. Much Safer!” Other ideas ranged from bubble wrap to donuts. (BTW, nurses like donuts as much as law enforcement officers)

When I asked nurses how to make patients safer in the hospital there were many answers and we will discuss these but today we are going to focus on the most brought up topic. Over and over again nurses said the same thing.

handwashing

However, the overwhelming answer from nurses nationwide was simple, HANDWASHING. “When my dad had surgery I told him to make sure everyone who touched him washed their hands first.” “Ask the staff to wash their hands” “No one touches me without me seeing them wash their hands” Just a few quotes from nurses.

The CDC says handwashing is a simple but effective way to prevent infection, including those that are resistant to infection. According to the CDC 1 in every 25 patients get a healthcare acquired infection. Many of these are preventable by something so simple as handwashing.

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When I asked these nurses how they would feel if a patient asked them to wash their hands before touching them none of them said they would be offended. One nurse said she none of her patients would need to ask her, she makes sure they see her “gelling in.” No one I asked said they would be offended if a patient/family asked them to wash/gel before performing care.

hand hygiene

A couple of years ago as I was performing my leadership rounds I gelled in as I always do then I shook hands with everyone in the room. As I was leaving the room our infection prevention director caught me before I could gel out and put my hand on a petri dish. Oh my goodness, the things that grew off that petri dish…….. I will never forget. And I will always wash/gel my hands.

I get it. You don’t want to offend your nurse, what kind of care will you receive?

I get it. You don’t want to get anyone in trouble.

I get it. I just don’t want you to get it!

Talk to you soon!

Michelle On Your Side

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references:https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I’ve spent a lot of years preparing for this journey, not even aware that this was out there. It seems that my whole life or at least my whole nursing career has been leading me in this direction. What direction you ask? The path of Legal Nurse Consultant.

I’m excited to let all of you have a peek into my world. In this blog I am going to explore the role of the Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC). I am going to offer nurses and doctors some tips on documentation to help them stay out of court. I’ll talk about how to keep you and your family safer when they are in the hospital. I will discuss how LNC’s can be useful for attorneys.  There will be interviews with industry experts.  I welcome questions from readers within my scope of practice.

One of the gifts I’ve been given is the gift of gab but I also like to be to the point.

I hope you enjoy this blog and that you share it with our friends. This blog truly is meant for everyone: nurse, doctors, attorneys, paralegals and those who use those services (everyone else).

It’s a beautiful thing when a passion and a career come together—Unknown

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