Too Far With Patient Care?
My patient passed away.
He had a complex history prior to breaking his leg at home and going through extensive rehabilitation at our facility. His wife was extremely supportive with all the efforts he made and was always positive in the care he was provided.
When he was transported to our local hospital I went to visit him there. I am glad I did. He had a stroke that evening and was placed on hospice care before coming back to our facility.
I have visited patients in the hospitals before, and have even driven one home on a Saturday when he was discharged.
Am I going too far? When I visit I try not to discuss medical conditions or their care, I go to visit with them as a friend, a concerned friend. I worry about my patients when they leave for the hospital and do not return within a day or two.
Now, I don't visit with every patient but those that I feel a connection to. There will always be patients that we will never forget, those that somehow touch us or remind us of a family member and we can often feel like one of their family when we treat them.
This of course takes a toll on me mentally. It's as if I have grown attached to my patients and I want them to succeed and get better no matter what. I ask myself if it is worth the mental drain it takes especially when a patient passes away. Some might wonder why I do it, what purpose does it serve to visit a former patient that may or may not come back to our facility. My answer: I do it because I care.