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Family Care for Endoscopic Brain Surgery Patients - Skull Base Institute

Family Care at the Skull Base Institute
By M. Fe Mangila, R.N., N.P.

At the Skull Base Institute, it is an integral part of the Nurse Practitioner's role to provide family care. Taking care of the patient's family is equally important as taking care of the patient. It begins when the patient is seen during the surgical consultation. Patients are encouraged to bring along significant others as well as any other interested family members to the consultation and office visits. If it is not possible for family members to be present during the visit, a telephone conference may be held to facilitate family participation. During the consultation, lengthy discussions take place and family members are encouraged to ask questions and express concerns. This scenario also becomes a venue for patient and family education. It is at this time that discharge planning begins if hospitalization is indicated.
  • Headaches
  • Facial Pain
  • Facial Spasm
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Skull Deformities
  • Hearing Loss
  • Dizziness/Vertigo
  • Frequent Falls
  • Nipple Discharge/ Irregular Menses
  • Diplopia/ Visual Disturbances

When a surgical procedure is scheduled, a thorough pre-operative preparation of the family is done during the pre-operative visit. Prior to admission to the hospital, a detailed description of the process is given to the patient and the family. A number of brochures and patient information booklets are utilized to assist in educating the patient and the family. For families who come from out of town, assistance to obtain discounted accommodations is provided for area hotels.

During the intra-operative period, it is the role of the Nurse Practitioner to serve as Liaison between the surgical team and the family. An hourly update time of surgery, a condition update is provided through a telephone discussion when the procedure is completed.

While the patient is in the hospital, a daily update on the patient's condition is given to family members. Hospital resources for family support (i.e. social worker, home health, hospice, patient representative, hospitality center, community resources, etc.) are identified for the family and access to these resources is facilitated. Upon request, family conference with the health care team is held to help coordinate care and facilitate communication and address family and patient discharge planning needs.

If extended care is needed after the patient's discharge from the hospital, the choice of extended care facility or services (e.g. home health, hospice, skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation facility, etc.) is coordinated with the hospital case manager, the patientís family, and the Skull Base Surgery Nurse Practitioner.

The office number and 24-hour answering service number are given to the patient and the family and both are encouraged to access these numbers for any concerns or problems they wish to discuss with the Skull Base Team. After discharge, continued patient and family support and follow-up are provided by telephone and subsequent office visits.

At the Skull Base Institute, it is our commitment to encourage and support family participation throughout the entire hospitalization and after discharge. Their contributions are acknowledged and recognized as equally valuable as the contributions of the health care team. We measure the quality of care we provide according to patient and family satisfaction. We believe that the patient and their family should be treated as one entity.

Minimally Invasive Skull Base and Brain Surgery (FAQ) Questions and Answers: Skull Base InstituteSkull Base Institute Pituitary Center Programs, Skull Base Programs, Childrens Pituitary Programs: Skull Base Institute