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Inpatient Insight

FOR MOST PATIENTS, hospital rooms are unfamiliar environments full of strange equipment. The biggest source of confusion may be the different providers who come and go throughout the day and night. Here is a primer on who some of them are and what they do at our hospitals:

• Hospitalists are physicians—typically internists— who see hospitalized patients daily and lead their plans of care.

• Registered nurses (RNs) are patients’ primary points of everyday contact with the care team for assessments and treatments. They conduct hourly rounds throughout the day—and every two hours at night—to check on patients and keep them informed about their care.

• Dietitians address nutritional concerns and educate patients about a healthy diet.

• Medical social workers assist patients and providers in planning for discharge, and connect families with helpful resources.

• Environmental and food services staff members help make patients as comfortable as possible.

• Rehabilitation therapists, including physical, occupational, and speech therapists, work with patients on physical recovery and functional skills to prepare them for discharge.

To help patients better understand their care, each room at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals features a communication whiteboard for displaying important information.

“The board identifies which team members are caring for the patient that day and documents interventions for pain,” says Judy Balcitis, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The patient’s primary registered nurse is responsible for updating the information on the board, as well as identifying any special needs and individualized care approaches.”

Rest is an important part of recovery, which is why providers at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals keep interruptions to a minimum by condensing care. “If, for example, a nurse needs to enter a room to administer medications, he or she may see if other caregivers who need to see.

This spring, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital unveiled seven new labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum (LDRP) rooms—all-in-one homes away from home where families can spend their birthing experiences from start to finish. Each spacious room features a birthing swing that mothers-to-be can use to labor in the position that is most comfortable for them. Two of the rooms have hydrotherapy tubs, as well. “By allowing LDRP to happen in one room, expectant mothers and their families can embrace the space as their own,” says Judy Balcitis, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The continuity of care that this model provides makes for an exceptionally personalized experience.”

Is your family getting ready to grow? Call 715.717.3100 to register for a prenatal class at HSHS Sacred Heart or 715-717-7421 at HSHS St. Joseph’s.


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