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Last but not least, the nurse should inform patients about their discharge medications, how to take the medications, when to take them, and common side effects of such medications.
Though this is what should be discussed, many times, the nurses in the emergency department that I work in simply hand the patients’ their discharge paperwork without going over it. This leads to patients calling the hospital from confusion of discharge instructions. This also causes patients to come back to the emergency department due to limited understanding of discharge instructions. For example, some patients may stop taking their antibiotics because they feel better, causing them to get worse.
According to the Oxford dictionary, comprehension denotes ability to understand something. Thus, in the context of a hospital discharge instructions the requirement for the nurse is to ensure that the patient understands these instructions. Unfortunately, it has been observed that this is not always the case studies on this subject indicate that ninety million Americans have a problem comprehending their own medical care. One reason for this is that most health-related documentation is above the typical users reading capacity (McCarthy et al 2012). Additionally, published discharge directions are not written at apposite reading levels meaning that most of the emergency department patients fail to understand their instructions.
The resolution to discharge a patient from the emergency department (ED) is not an easy one; however, it is fundamental that once the decision is made proper measures be taken to ascertain that the patient is well versed on how to continue with the care program. The ability to continue with the care program has many ramifications that exceed direct benefits to the individual in regard to health. Other benefits can also be linked to the healthcare system as poor comprehension means that patients are at an
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