Today’s Spotlight highlights a Caravan Health patient success story. To fully protect the identity of the patient, all identifiers have been removed.
A retired 72-year old male was seeing his provider for a follow-up to some abdominal issues he had been experiencing. Although the patient had never presented with hypertension, when the Medical Assistant took his blood pressure, she noted it was an alarming 170/95.
After another test and a consult with his nurse and physician, it was decided that the patient needed to start taking medication for hypertension. His population health nurse, Susan, talked with him about the medication and explained what he might experience from some of the possible side effects. The patient did not want to take the medication but was willing to do so.
To help monitor his pressures, Susan, talked with him about taking his own blood pressure and showed him how to use a cuff designed for patients to use at home. As they practiced together, Susan noted that his blood pressure was in the normal range. After further tests and another consult with the physician, they made the decision to not prescribe the medication and wanted to determine if the patient could maintain his blood pressure with lifestyle modifications.
Motivated to stay off of medication, the patient was compliant with his provider’s requests. He monitored his pressures, noted his diet, and with Susan’s help became aware of certain stressors in his life and learned to manage them. Today, he continues to monitor his pressure twice a day and maintains communication with Susan who provides feedback.
When asked to comment to other nurses on his experience, the patient, who continues to maintain his blood pressure without medication said, “My nurse, Susan, listened to me and cared about me. She took the time to understand what was going on in my life. She spotted patterns of stressful days that I didn’t see at first. I love my doctor, but it was my nurse who made the difference for me. Every day you get to be somebody’s Susan and that’s a very special thing.”