Avera Medical Minute: Hospital Delays - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Hospital Delays

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Registered Nurses Kaydlynn Danielson and Emily Schoenfelder check on patient Lloyd Smith. Registered Nurses Kaydlynn Danielson and Emily Schoenfelder check on patient Lloyd Smith.

don't think any of us expect 5 star service when we check-in as a patient at a hospital. We aren't going there to be pampered. We are going there to get fixed. Having said that, understanding there are going to be delays is part of the process. Anticipating those delays can make your stay more tolerable.

Lloyd Smith from Hartford is recovering from surgery after being diagnosed with cancer. Other than the pain of recovering from surgery, Lloyd and his wife Phyliss have no complaints about their stay at Avera McKennan Hospital. Knowing there is a lot going on outside his room helps him understand not everything can happen with the snap of a finger.

Director of Adult Specialty Services Jill Casanova says, "There are several delays. It's all based on communication. We need to find out what their expectations and what are priorities are because a lot of times the two don't quite connect."

At any given time there is an average of 300 patients in the hospital. Each unit has 56 beds which are usually full which means the day shift nurses are caring for 4 to 5 patients. Plus, a nurse aide will have 8 to 9 patients. Those are the givens.

Casanova says, "It's hard to predict when the doctor is going to be around. One thing we can reassure is they will see their primary physician everyday. We just can't predict when."

There are even delays for some patients who want to use the bathroom. For safety reasons a nurse must accompany certain patients they they don't trip on IV cords or fall down due to lightheadedness from medications. 

Casanova says, "Multiple things need to occur before a patient can be discharged. Typically there's more than one physician on the case so even though one says they can go, we have to make sure the other doctor has also given the okay from their standpoint that the patient is cleared to go home.Other things we need to do is resolve their medication list. What were they taking at home, what changed during their hospital stay and making sure all that's accurate and typed out with instructions. Also, they have prescriptions ready to go so they can stop off at the pharmacy before they leave. Being discharged can take anywhere from an hour up to 4 hours. It really all depends on if the hospital staff is setting up home health care, follow-up appointments and lining up special equipment like crutches or wheelchairs."

When you get home and are on the mend hopefully you'll be glad the staff took the time to take care of every detail.



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