Patients on Vacation????(long)

  1. I live and work in the Last Frontier(Alaska). I love it!!!!...BUT...The people that come up on vacation drive me nutz....They forget their meds, past medical hx, why they take what medication, ect, ect. Then they get angry with us because we cannot "access that information on the computer" even though they are from....whatever state they are from. Why do these usually intelligent individuals leave their brains at home?[S]ummm...think[/S] Carry a list of meds, past hx,ect. with you when you travel, it makes perfect sense...At least to me...Not all the travelers are like that...But a surprising number "forget".:trout: We get a LOT of tourist in for simple things like fish hook removal (wear safety glasses and a hat) but we frequently get MIs and CVAs along with MVCs du jour. WE NEED TO KNOW YOUR MEDS AND HX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not psycic(psyco maybe) and do not know you...
    Just out of curiosity....Is Alaska the only place this happens?
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    It happens here too - we have a lot of tourists in the summer. Same thing - no list of meds, no history, etc.

    And with those darn med reconciliation forms, it can be frustrating.

    steph
  4. by   Tweety
    That's a problem here in Florida as well. Lots of vacationers, lots of snowbirds. On a side note it amazes me the men who don't know anything about their meds, their health, and their history "that's my wife's job".
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Tweety
    That's a problem here in Florida as well. Lots of vacationers, lots of snowbirds. On a side note it amazes me the men who don't know anything about their meds, their health, and their history "that's my wife's job".
    That is so true . . . . . although I did have one woman say her husband was the one with the med list and history.

    steph
  6. by   fultzymom
    From the other point of view, I have been on vacation to many different parts of the country et I do not generally carry around my H&P everywhere with me. It is not something that generally crosses my mind et I am a nurse. I can tell you about my meds that I am on (not a huge list) but if something happened, my hubs could tell the general things but to go into detail, I am sure he would not know as he is not in healthcare. The only time that I did take my H&P with me was when I was traveling during pregnancy and had started bleeding and quit. They never really did find out what was going on because all of my labs were ok et so were the ultrasounds that I had to have done. The doc said she did not have a problem with me going but she wanted me to have my records with me just in case something happened. But other than that, I have never taken anything with me.
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    I made my husband make out a list and stick it in his wallet.

    And no, it isn't only Alaska. Or tourists.
  8. by   xNursePinkx2b
    Come on now. I'm sure the first thing on peoples minds when they go on vacation is to write down their meds and history, especially those who are NOT in the healthcare field. Give people a break.
  9. by   ICRN2008
    Quote from xNursePinkx
    Come on now. I'm sure the first thing on peoples minds when they go on vacation is to write down their meds and history, especially those who are NOT in the healthcare field. Give people a break.
    I think that this is an issue that requires extensive public education. In general people tend to be ignorant when it comes to their health, though there are a select few who can recite their conditions and meds from memory. I think the point that the others are making is that this is not responsible behavior. If someone told the electric company that they "forgot" to pay their bill, they would find themselves without power. If a police officer pulled someone over and they said that they "forgot" their license and registration, they could potentially get a citation. People are intelligent and capable, so it is possible for them to change their behavior.

    I think the best place that we as nurses can start is by encouraging our friends and family members to compose a list and carry it in their wallet/purse. Not just on vacation, but every day. This will result in improved care and fewer delays when seconds count.
  10. by   nurturing_angel
    I have a extensive medical history and have long carried a health history with me. I included all current diagnosis's, current medicines (including dosages and times normally taken) and the prescribing doc, hospitalization dates, the reason for hospital visit, previous surgeries, my allergies and my last immunization dates. I also included my emergency contact list and who may receive information about my medical condition. I also included a list of all my health care providers and how to contact them. Lastly, I included my code status and my wishes to be an organ donor.
    I try to keep my list as up to date as possible. If something happens to me, I don't worry that my DH will have to remember everything in my vast history for my emergency caregivers. He only has to remember where to find the list.


    Last edit by nurturing_angel on Jul 18, '07
  11. by   pkapple
    Visitors are a problem here in the panhandle, too.
    But the ones that drive me batty are the locals who show up at 3am and smile sweetly...you have my records here. UHHH no I don't, and even if I could find your last visit(we don't have med rec or even a sec at night) it would most likely not be current, esp since you seem to come here often, so sorry your doc isn't open at 3am. How crass of him, he should know you would never go see him until your ear/bugbite was at least 4 days old and you couldn't sleep!!!!

    I am advising every patient Isee to fill out and carry a med list and allergy list...hx would be nice, but at least we get an idea from the meds.
  12. by   Crux1024
    Quote from BSNDec06
    I think that this is an issue that requires extensive public education. In general people tend to be ignorant when it comes to their health, though there are a select few who can recite their conditions and meds from memory. I think the point that the others are making is that this is not responsible behavior. If someone told the electric company that they "forgot" to pay their bill, they would find themselves without power. If a police officer pulled someone over and they said that they "forgot" their license and registration, they could potentially get a citation. People are intelligent and capable, so it is possible for them to change their behavior.

    I think the best place that we as nurses can start is by encouraging our friends and family members to compose a list and carry it in their wallet/purse. Not just on vacation, but every day. This will result in improved care and fewer delays when seconds count.


    Well Said!!

    :spin:
  13. by   emsboss
    Quote from xNursePinkx
    Come on now. I'm sure the first thing on peoples minds when they go on vacation is to write down their meds and history, especially those who are NOT in the healthcare field. Give people a break.

    I generally do give people a break...BUT!!!!!!!!!...If you take a med, I feel you should at LEAST know the name of it....Instead we get...."You know...a heart pill....little(insert color here)one. I don't really want to seem mean and nasty but with the ages of the people that come in being more increasingly toward the over 60 crowd....Well...

    Most Docs offices will offer a wallet card with the names and doseages on them. If not, then ask for it!
  14. by   granite109
    Ugghh! The penalty box of triage is bad enough; when this happens it's a game misconduct! No, it's not just tourists, vacation is just the excuse for not having the info. I have tried to make use of this teachable moment and tell my patients the importance of carrying a med and history list. We started giving out the preprinted cards. If time allows, I fill them out so to make it a little easier and it strokes the patient a little bit, which makes them happy.

    I agree that it is a public health issue. It would make a great project in Community Health nursing. Not just passing out cards, but maybe a PSA during the local news or something. It would be cool if someone went out the the senior centers and handed out and filled out cards during a BP screening or something. (I know, it's not all seniors, but a lot are and it would hit a lot of people in one shot!)

    BTW, is anybody's ED involved in community service? I've tried, but no one seems interested here!

close