Annie 28, lives with her family and was born with a rare genetic disorder. She loves to draw, listen to music and was very excited about her upcoming birthday. Her father Jeff is her primary carer and recently placed Annie in a Group Respite House to give himself a break from his caring role.
Annie has diabetes and requires support in managing her condition as well as insulin administration. Empower Healthcare’s Nursing Team were engaged to provide morning and evening nursing services.
On the second night of Annie’s respite care, Michelle, our Nursing Manager received a call from the staff at the respite house at 9:30pm, to advise that Annie was refusing to eat and her blood glucose levels had dropped below the acceptable limits. Unfortunately to make things more complicated, Annie was refusing to talk and so they requested a nurse to attend.
Michelle went with one goal in mind – to get Annie to eat and drink so her blood sugar levels returned to normal. “On arrival Annie was sitting at the kitchen table. I went in and sat down with her and asked her why she wasn’t eating. Anne didn’t give a reason, so I prompted her further and asked if the reason she was refusing was because she wanted to go home. Annie admitted that this was the reason why she was refusing to eat. I gently explained to her that if she didn’t eat, her blood glucose levels would drop further resulting in admission to hospital.
I sat with Annie and asked about her family and she told me about her Mum and Dad and her brothers and sisters. When I asked if she liked dogs, her face lit up and I showed her photos of my dogs and she started talking about her dog. Without realising, Annie began to eat her dinner and drink a cup of coffee.
By finding out who Annie is as a person; her interests, important personal events, food likes and dislikes, I was able to connect with her, show genuine interest through my responses to overcome her refusal to eat and identify a better approach that safely manages her diabetes.
Our Nursing Team assisted in the management of Annie’s diabetes, and provided education to carers to assist them to feel more confident to support Annie with the management of her condition.
Jeff was so impressed with how we dealt with the situation that he asked us to continue providing nursing care at Annie’s home. Annie has responded really well to Empower’s nurses and the team have built a great rapport with her.”
At Empower, we listen to our clients about the way they like to communicate. What clients say is vital as a healthcare worker. Paying attention to what the person is saying and working out what it really means, opens the door to establishing collaborative, person-centric and meaningful health goals.
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