Published Nov 22, 2000
Hello Everyone - I am looking for information regarding the care of patients with HIV/Aids. Does anyone know of any facilities that treats ONLY this population or do any hospitals have AIDS units? If anyone has worked in these settings, I would be interested in talking with you.
Our hospital did have a specific AIDS unit back in the late 80's. They always were the shortest
staffed and had the highest turnover and
burnout. We used to go to a lot of codes up
there, and it seemed like the patients all had
rigormortis already. It was a really sad situation. Now the pts with HIV are just mixed in wherever there is a bed.
P_RN, ADN, RN
We never had a specific unit dedicated to only these patients. They were however always in a private room, and in a negative pressure room if they also had TB.
Our hospital just mixes them in with the general population. Universal Precautions and all that. But in my experience, I have found most AIDS/HIV pts to be angry at best...unless they are at the end of their illness. and the anger is what I find most difficult to treat. But I have something I woulds like to share with you... In my last quarter at nursing school--10 years ago-- I had a wonderful instructor. He was the PSych part of it all. And he was the one who guided our jelly legs thru the lock down with the crazies clinical rotation. He won a scholarship in his younger years from Masters and Johnson..and actually met and spent a summer in France studying under Elizabeth Kubler-Ross( 5 stages of grief et al)...he was kind and very patient. At the end of our clinicals..he sat us down at a round table. The next week was graduation. And all the people who we bonded with and cried with to get to be a nurse..were going to scatter like the wind..some were going to NJ..some to FL..others to others hospitals. Well, at that round table, --and it took me years to realize what he was doing--he essentially started a dialogue that allowed us to say goodbye to each other. Like...and Trish--what are your plans???...he was a excellent educator. We all knew he had an Alternative lifestyle...but we never talked about it and he never pushed it on us..and there was a mutual respect thing there. In the last quarter he had taken to wearing long sleeve shirts...and in Alabama...that is pretty rare in the spring..and in one of the last lectures he gave us, my girlfriend and I noticed some red round scarlett color spots on his neck around his collar...and we correctly guessed Karposi's Sarcoma...but still we said and did nothing. And at pinning he hugged me and wished me well and told my parents what a great nurse I was going to be. And 3 months later....he died ...of AIDS. My biggest regret is that I never told him how wonderful he was...and that his last days were spent hiding that disease from the students he so dearly loved. And it changed my take on AIDS pts... I think of them now as the Lepers in Christ's time...who need more compassion than most because they are ostracized. ..even today.
and yes, I believe there should be more individualized care ...more exacting care plans. But there are outreach programs now. And most treatments are usually done by home health or clinics. so if you meet an AIDS pt you feel needs more than your hospital can offer him...look in to your community outreach program. Go there to learn more about it all and then you will be able to gove more to the next pt you have. and think of my instructor..:)
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