All posts by Angelo Antoline

Communicating with a Family Member in Critical Care

Sometimes it’s hard enough to say what we mean. So what do we do if we have a family member in critical care? Rest assured, communicating is an important part of the healing process for your loved one as well as your family.

Here are 5 tips to help you out:

  1. Even if your loved one is on a ventilator, he or she will most likely be able to hear you. Speak in a calm, clear manner in a normal tone of voice. There’s no need to speak loudly. Read your family member a favorite poem, book, or prayer. If the staff says it’s OK, you could even play some music.
  2. Use short, positive statements. Reassure your loved one that you’re there, and that everyone is taking good care of him or her. Help orient your family member to the surroundings by sharing the date, day of week and time of day. Help describe the noises in the room.
  3. It’s OK to acknowledge that your family member may be experiencing discomfort. You can help by explaining what is going on, “That tube is helping you breath.” Remind your loved one that this is just temporary and helping him or her to get better.
  4. Don’t ask questions that can’t be answered. Make it simple. Suggesting hand gestures to communicate may be helpful. For example, a thumbs up or thumbs could indicate pain level. A small dry erase board may also be helpful in communicating as well. You could write words that your family member could point to, or possibly your loved one can write a few words as well.
  5. Human touch goes a long way. Ask the hospital staff first, but holding a hand or touching your family member gently is a great way to express your love and concern.

If you’re unsure about the best way to communicate, don’t hesitate to ask a member of the hospital staff for help. If one way doesn’t seem to be working, there likely will be another way that can be more effective.

Read More

6 Things to Expect When Your Loved One is in Critical Care

It’s difficult to imagine a loved one being ill or injured enough to require critical care. But being prepared for what to expect can help you manage the situation.
Here are 6 important things to know:

  1. You have an experienced team on your side. The hospital staff that’s caring for your loved one is highly trained and prepared to treat the sickest – and most medically complex – patients. From the physicians and nurses to the respiratory therapists and dietitians – they all are specially trained to care for your loved one.
  2. The tubes and equipment in a critical care unit can be intimidating. But, they all have a role and purpose in providing your loved one with the intensive healthcare that he or she needs. The healthcare team will be able to explain the role of any equipment to help you better understand what it happening.
  3. Information overload can – and most likely will – occur. Everything will be new to you from the equipment and noises to the procedures and health professionals. Take a deep breath. Once you get your bearings, think of how you can best keep track of information. Write in a notebook. Keep notes on your phone. Jot down items like key information, questions you want to ask, purpose of treatments, and names of hospital personnel.
  4. Expect peaks and valleys. Critical care can be a bumpy ride. Some days will be better than others. As much as possible, try to be patient and keep perspective.
  5. Talk to your loved one. Communicating with your loved one is important for not only him or her, but for your entire family. Often patients can hear while in critical care. Speak calmly and clearly, and make short, positive statements. Hold your loved ones hand or touch them gently if a member of the healthcare team says it’s OK.
  6. Take care of yourself. It may be a long road to your loved one’s recovery, so be sure to take time to do things like sleep, eat, and shower. Don’t be afraid to leave the room for a bit. The healthcare team will be there 24/7 to provide care.
Read More

Laredo Specialty Hospital First in Laredo to Earn National Accreditation

Bringing nationally recognized care to the local community

 

Laredo Specialty Hospital is the first hospital in Laredo, Texas, to earn The Joint Commission’s disease-specific certification in Respiratory Failure. The hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Respiratory Failure after a rigorous on-site review this past month.

“This certification means we’re providing the highest level of respiratory failure care available in the nation right here to patients in our own community,” says Hanna Huang, Chief Operating Officer of Laredo Specialty Hospital, “It’s significant because it reflects our commitment to providing safe and effective care to our patients.”

Respiratory failure occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen passing from the lungs into the body’s bloodstream. Oxygen-rich blood is needed to help the body’s organs – such as the heart and brain – function properly.

Dr. Benson Yu Huang, Medical Director of Laredo Specialty Hospital, continues to explain. “Respiratory failure also can occur if a patient’s lungs can’t remove carbon dioxide from the blood,” he says. “Carbon dioxide is a waste gas that also can harm a body’s organs.”

Different types of diseases can cause respiratory failure, including lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, or cystic fibrosis. Respiratory failure also can be caused by conditions that affect the nerves and muscles that control breathing such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophy.

Certification through The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Program is voluntary and addresses three main areas:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards
  • Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and
  • An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

“Through our services, we want to provide hope and quality of life to our community members who are experiencing these debilitating events,” Huang says. “This certification provides us with the framework to continue a culture of excellence for patients in our community.”

The hospital provides hundreds of patients in Laredo and surrounding areas every year with long-term acute and critical care services. These patients, who are recovering from serious illnesses or injuries, often need care for medically complex conditions such as trauma, infectious diseases, wound healing, cardiovascular disease, stroke, amputations, and respiratory failure.

The hospital, which is located at 2005 Bustamante St., Laredo, features all private patient rooms, and a 6-bed intensive care unit. The hospital also features a 5,000-square-foot therapy gym with private treatment rooms.

Read More

Laredo Specialty Hospital celebró 10 años de existencia

Laredo Specialty Hospital celebró 10 años de servicio a la comunidad el martes 17 de mayo.
Por tal motivo, realizaron una fiesta para celebrar con los empleados y comunidad en general.
Pollo asado, cabrito, fajita, costillitas, frijoles y música, fueron parte de lo disfrutado esa tarde.
Mario Rodriguez, director de operaciones de área para LSH, dijo sentirse honrado de poder servir a la comunidad.

Rodríguez agradeció a los médicos y empleados por su arduo trabajo.

También agradeció a los pacientes por permitir al hospital atenderlos.

Rodríguez dijo que cuando el oficial fue establecido, abrió con tres pacientes.

Actualmente, cuentan con 60 camas para servir a la comunidad.

Cuarenta camas están ubicadas en Laredo Specialty Hospital y 20 en Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital.

Laredo Specialty Hospital ofrece servicios de cuidado intensivo a largo plazo para pacientes recuperándose de una enfermedad grave o lesiones. Tales condiciones incluyen traumatismo, enfermedades infeciossas, sanar de heridas, llagas, enfermedades cardiovasculares, uso de ventiladores y falla respiratoria. Laredo Specialty Hospital también ofrece cuidado por parte de enfermeras, terapias físicas, ocupacionales y del habla, cuidado respiratorio, control del dolor, uso de ventilador y atención a heridas. El hospital ofrece cuartos privados para los pacientes, una unidad de cuidados intensivos con seis camas y un área de terapia con un gimnasio de 5.200 pies cuadrados.

10th_anniversarypics

Read More

Laredo Specialty Hospital opens new Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) – The opening of Laredo Specialty Hospital’s new Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center could mean a breath of fresh air for it’s visitors.

Attendees were invited to Friday’s event to tour the service and meet the medical director and hospital staff.

The Hyperbaric Chambers provide oxygen therapy – involving breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be used to treat serious infections, air bubbles in the blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

The center currently features three hyperbaric chambers, with plans to expand to five of them.

Click Here to view this story on KGNS’ website.

Read More

Another reason to Love Laredo’s Health Care

Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital is a new 20-bed freestanding facility that provides intensive physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from strokes, brain, spinal cord and orthopedic injuries, and other impairments as a result of injury or illness. Individuals also are treated for chronic illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease.

The hospital is a member of Ernest Health, Inc., which consistently has its rehabilitation hospitals recognized in the top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals nationwide for care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

The hospital’s medical team works with patients and their family members to create individualized treatment plans so patients can progress at their own ability levels. The medical team includes specially trained physicians, nurses, social workers, case managers, and occupational, speech and physical therapists – among other medical professionals. All patients receive 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care and physician management. The hospital features all private rooms and a well-equipped therapy area. Patient services also include a stroke program and an amputation program.

“Patients are our priority,” says Larisa Higgins, Chief Operating Officer of the hospital. “We’re passionate about patient care and consider it a privilege to provide services to patients and their family members in the Laredo community.”

Read More

Local Hospitals Exceed National Standards in Patient Care

Laredo Specialty Hospital and Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital provide patients from Laredo and surrounding areas with specialized medical and rehabilitative care, consistently exceeding national standards in patient care.

The hospitals’ patient care results are compared quarterly to other long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospitals throughout the nation. Laredo Specialty Hospital’s results are reviewed and provided by the National Association of Long-Term Care Hospitals. The organization compares hospitals nationally on patient case mix, discharges, ventilator weaning, and wound rate. Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital’s patient care results are reviewed and provided by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, comparing patient case mix, discharges, and change of patients’ physical and cognitive skills from admission to discharge.

“I believe we have consistently exceeded national averages because of the hospitals’ multidisciplinary teams and the dedication of the physicians who practice here,” says Mario Rodriguez, Area Director of Operations of Laredo Specialty Hospital and Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital. “We are passionate about patient care and never take our responsibility to our patients for granted. I think that our commitment is reflected in these results.”

Read More

LAREDO SPECIALTY HOSPITAL HONORS EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Laredo Specialty Hospital hosted its annual Hospital Employee of the Year Banquet. Mario Rodriguez, Laredo Specialty Hospital Chief Executive Officer presented Jose Longoria with the 2014 Employee of the Year Award. Mr. Longoria was recognized for his diligence and commitment to the Hospital’s Guiding Principles. Mr. Longoria is a Licensed Pharmacist and has been employed at Laredo Specialty Hospital for 9 years.

longoria

Read More