In light of recent changes in a dynamic healthcare landscape, innovations in nursing practice seek to emphasize the importance of family-centered care. Some of the nation’s leading healthcare facilities have instituted a style of hybrid nursing that is both unprecedented and cost effective. Guided by evidence based something or other and polls conducted by some consultant named Gary, critical care areas will now be utilizing Family Centered Titration Guidelines. Vasoactive drips – those medications responsible for helping ICU patients maintain a pulse and, often times, generate a blood pressure – are crucial components of increased patient satisfaction scores. Vital signs compatible with life are key indicators of garnering scores of nine or better on Press-Ganey Patient Satisfaction Surveys, and analysts indicate that families believe intensive care unit nurses tend to be perceived as more overbearing and less respectful of privacy than their medical-surgical counterparts.
“When nana was on the regular floor, the nurse only bothered her once – maybe twice – during the shift. Now that she’s on life support in the ICU, the nurses are frequently pestering her all day and night. How is she expected to rest and recover from Kleptomania Pneumonia with some lady shining a light in her eyes and making a ton of noise with the stupid beeping alarms? Sounds like these annoying nurses are the ones who need a sedative, amirite?”
Turns out, this highly informed and totally understanding grandson is right. In an effort to reduce interruptions, decrease noise, and optimize staffing in intensive care units, numerous hospital systems have adopted Family Centered Titration Guidelines. Utilizing an algorithm derived from a bundle that came from a policy inspired by a protocol, ICU nurses will now instruct family members on blood pressure parameters; mean arterial pressure goals; basic functions of intravenous pumps; and education regarding medicated infusions. Instead of interrupting important bonding time between critically ill patients and their family members, the Family Centered Titration Guidelines allow family members to be a vital advocate for vital signs by adjusting medicated drips as appropriate.
One family member notes, “Ever since this new policy went into effect, I can really feel like an important part of my husband’s care. When the red line starts blinking and making a stupid alarm, I am empowered to adjust the pump and create a more peaceful environment for me to watch YouTube videos on my iPad or sift through People Magazine. The nurse only really bothers me when my husband needs something minor done like a blood transfusion, lab work, ventilator adjustments, new dialysis tubing, a dressing change, a new IV line, be pain medicated, sedated, bathed, fed, turned, comforted, or shocked out of a lethal arrhythmia.”
“Sounds like these annoying nurses are the ones who need a sedative, amirite?”
Hospital administrators seem optimistic about the Family Centered Titration Guidelines, and plan to modify the protocol to fit areas outside of intensive care. “Ever since we initiated FCTG, the nursing staff seems extremely receptive. We have been able to increase the intensive care unit patient ratios tenfold because of how greatly this has lightened the burden on bedside staff. Since family members are essentially doing all of their work for them, the benefits are two-fold: not only do we witness happier and more engaged families, the potential to safely and effectively care for nine…maybe ten ICU patients per nurse is finally achievable!”
“We live in a Twitter-verse,” states that guy Gary, the consultant from that firm for that thing. “Millenials and whatnot – that’s a thing! They have grown up with a sense of comfort around technology that is absolutely uncanny. What better way to apply that knowledge than by treating the health and wellness of a loved one with the same level of concern as refurbished smartphone?”
While morbidity and mortality has seen a shift in these institutions, the loss of human life is a small price to pay for the loss of human life. “Martha was an amazing woman, and I am deeply saddened by the loss of my wife – but she would have been comforted to know that I eventually learned the difference between norepinephrine and nitroglycerin. In a special way, I was a part of her life – and now, equally so in her passing. And to be honest, I just kinda blamed the nurse anyway.”
The only ICU nursing staff member declined to provide insight into the recent policy changes, indicating that she was still too f*cking busy assessing her first patient to comment.