wsdrfgCurrently I am doing a placement in the community and visit patients in their homes. My mentor is a case manager (Band 6) and the majority of the patients are elderly with long-term (chronic) conditions, such as: heart failure, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, cancer, stroke, depression, dementia and more. What I truly enjoy about this placement is that I get the opportunity to communicate with patients and listen to what they have to say! It’s great to get to know them better and support them in their homes.

Typical day would be something like this:

* 9:00 arrive and start reading through patients’ records to familiarise myself with their past medical history, current conditions and aim of visits for the day
*10:15-10:30 travel to a patient’s home

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*10:30 visit a patient with heart failure, 5 min to introduce self, role, explain aim of visit and gain consent for any procedures, 10 min conversation about how the patient is feeling using a holistic approach, 5 min perform hand hygiene,  5 min record vital signs and write them on patient’s record, 20 min perform care plan while engaging the patient in a conversation, 10 min record keeping on System One software, 5 min answer questions the patient may have. Total (60 min)
* 11:30 – 11:45 travel to next patient

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*11:45 visit a patient with type 2 diabetes, obese and suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, 5 min introduce self, role, aim of visit and gain consent for any procedures, 10 min conversation about how the patient is feeling and needs that need to be addressed, 5 min perform hand hygiene, 5 min record vital signs and write them on patient’s record, 20 min to perform care plan while engaging the patient in a conversation, 10 min record keeping on computer and make dietitian referral, 5 min answer questions the patient may have. Total (60 min)
*12:45 – 13:00 travel back to office
*13:00 – 13:30 lunch break and practice measuring manual blood pressure
*13:30 – 13:45 travel to next visit
* 13:45 visit a patient with depression following a traumatic experience in ITU (Intensive care unit) 2 years ago when the patient was in coma, 5 min introduce self, role, aim of visit and gain consent for any procedures, 10 min conversation about how the patient is feeling and needs that need to be addressed, 5 min perform hand hygiene, 10 min record vital signs and write them on patient’s record, 20 min to perform care plan and depression screening assessment while engaging the patient in a conversation, 5 min record keeping, 5 min answer questions the patient may have. Total (60 min)
*14:45-15:00 travel to next visit

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* 15:00 visit a patient with an exacerbation of COPD and review wellbeing, 5 min introduce self, role, aim of visit and gain consent for any procedures, 10 min conversation about how the patient is feeling and needs that need to be addressed, 5 min perform hand hygiene, 10 min record vital signs and write them on patient’s record, 20 min to perform care plan while engaging the patient in a conversation. Total (55 min)
* 16:00 – 16:15 travel back to office
* 16:15 – 16:55  study independently while mentor is taking phone calls and finishing paperwork
* 16:55-17:00 complete study-related paperwork

To sum up, the work day is from 9am to 5pm and consists of approximately 4 hours face to face contact with patients, 1 hour and 30 min travel time, 30 min lunch break, 2 hours spent in office doing preparation work, phone calls, writing notes,referrals etc. Some professionals manage to visit as much as 12 people per day, however, each visit might not last longer than 20 min depending on the aim of the visit. Giving an insulin injection takes only 5 min but discussing with a patient their end of life care and final wishes can take hours.

 

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