When Arbor Hospice receives a call, we may never know the extent of the family’s situation. That’s why when Arbor Hospice receives a call; each case is treated urgently and with the utmost care. Such was the case when a member of the Smith family called Arbor Hospice.
Cutting her vacation short, Jane Smith called Arbor Hospice on her drive to her brother’s home. Jane explained that her brother lived alone and needed help. Her 51-year-old brother had liver and bone cancer and expressed high levels of pain when they spoke on the phone hours before. Knowing she was hours away, and could only offer so much support, Jane called Arbor Hospice.
Upon receiving the phone call, the Arbor Hospice Access Center stepped into action. They contacted the man’s primary care physician to learn more about his condition, called the man and sent someone out. When the Arbor Hospice Patient and Family Liaison, Cristina, arrived at the man’s home, it was apparent he needed immediate care. Before the admission papers were signed, Cristina requested a nurse immediately.
“When I arrived at the home, I found a man in immense pain, experiencing nausea and vomiting,” said Mary Beth Kuebrich, RN, Arbor Hospice Admission Nurse. “He rated his pain a 10 on a ten-point-scale. I called our physician and began pain medication and a suppository for his nausea.”
Mary Beth waited with the patient and tried to calm him while the medication took effect. Despite her efforts, Mary Beth knew the man’s symptoms required additional care and support. She called The Residence of Arbor Hospice to inquire about a vacant room. Upon learning of a vacancy, Mary Beth broached the subject with the patient.
“I explained that The Residence was an option for patients experiencing extreme pain or other uncontrolled symptoms. He would receive around-the-clock care so that his symptoms could be managed. The patient was relieved to have an option where he could receive the comfort care he needed, and not have to go to the hospital.”
Mary Beth arranged transportation to The Residence and waited for him to arrive. At The Residence, Mary Beth completed the man’s admission and transitioned his care to The Residence staff. By 8:30 p.m. on July 3rd, mere hours after the sister’s call, the patient was admitted and settled at The Residence of Arbor Hospice.
The next day, when Mary Beth pulled into the parking lot before work, the patient sat peacefully outside The Residence. “I was so relieved to see him up and about and comfortable. It was such a change from the condition I found him in the day before.”
A few days later, the man was discharged from The Residence of Arbor Hospice – pain and symptoms completely managed – to return home where he received home hospice care.
“The patient, his sister and the rest of the family was so grateful,” Mary Beth said. “I’m so glad the sister called us when she did. No one should suffer at the end of life.”
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