Last year, Sarah Andryauskas, then a new nurse in our emergency department, was caring for a patient with diabetes who had trouble maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. His disease had contributed to several hospital visits over the preceding months and years.
As health care providers, it’s tempting to attribute such repeat visits to patient noncompliance. But Sarah took the time to ask: Was there a barrier that kept the man from taking control of his health? Indeed there was, as the patient explained that diabetes-related sight loss had made it impossible to read his glucometer—and thus to manage his blood sugar.
Sarah’s story of this revelation, and the extraordinary steps that she and a colleague took to find a glucometer that reads results out loud, is the first in a new podcast series that delves into what it truly means to practice “patient- and family-centered care.”
From time to time, I’ll use this blog to highlight inspiring new stories—from caregivers, patients, or both—that have been added to the series. Visit the website for the project, called The Heart of Caring, anytime to see the full list of podcasts.