Our WOW moment for January involved a helping hand to protect a patient’s endangered fingers! While in a discharge planning meeting, clinical dietitian Vanessa Hooper overheard a conversation between a physical therapist concerned for a diabetic patient with multiple wounds on her fingers and the case management staff trying to help. The therapist explained, “I was concerned that if our patient or her caregivers continued to use her fingertips for blood glucose monitoring, that patient would be at risk for the loss of her fingers. My question was ‘what would it take to get a glucometer that used blood from another part of the body?’
Having reached out to several others for help in solving this issue, the therapist brought it up in the discharge planning meeting, where Vanessa overheard and swung into action. Knowing that
glucometers can take blood from any part of the body, Vanessa spent a significant amount of time researching the problem. She identified which brands of glucometers had been tested for highest accuracy in measuring blood glucose on body parts other than the finger or palm. She began to educate the staff that measuring blood from another site also meant changing the time-frame for
Vanessa attempted to obtain a free glucometer for the patient from one of the researched
companies. When she was unsuccessful in that, she began working on educating the patient to the fullest extent possible. Vanessa tried to empower the patient to advocate for herself in the care facility to which she was being discharged. The dietitian encouraged her patient to analyze the equipment
available at the care facility and at home and to continue her efforts to protect her fragile fingertips.
“I recognize that this was outside of Vanessa’s job requirements and responsibilities, but it’s an example of how she always goes above and beyond and advocates for optimal patient care,” said her nominating coworker.
Thanks Vanessa, for being a powerful advocate for our patients.