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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stories From the Point of Care

Eagle Medical Director, Dana Giarrizzi, DO,FHM, relates one of her experiences as a practicing TeleHospitalist:

"A code situation can be a hurried, anxious, unorganized, and scary situation. No matter how many times I have responded to a CODE situation it never is something to look forward to. One of my first nights on call as a “telehospitalist”, I was asked to respond to a respiratory CODE. The ICU nurse called and informed me what was happening.I was able to immediately “beam” on to the InTouch RP7 robot and help the team. This brought a sense of calm to an otherwise volatile situation. The nurse was relieved that someone was there so quickly.

We each had our responsibility and "place". The emergency room doctor came and performed the intubation, as he would normally do. The ICU nurse administered meds, and I "stood" at the foot of the bed watching the monitor and reviewing the chart. I continued to stabilize the patient and the emergency room physician went back to work. He was relieved I was there so he could leave and not have patients backed up in the emergency room. I was also able to discuss the situation with the patient’s spouse and children and answer their questions and concerns. After the patient was stabilized, we all went back to work. I continued doing admissions and consults and made my handoff the next morning with the daytime hospitalist."