Discharge And Home Healthcare Guidelines

Be sure the patient understands all medications, including the dosage, route, action, adverse effects, and the need for routine laboratory monitoring for convulsants. Teach the patient and caregiver the signs and symptoms that necessitate a return to the hospital. Teach the patient to recognize the symptoms and signs of postinjury syndrome, which may last for several weeks. Explain that mild cognitive changes do not always resolve immediately. Provide the patient and significant others with information about the trauma clinic and the phone number of a clinical nurse specialist in case referrals are needed. Stress the importance of follow-up visits to the physician's office. If alcohol counseling is needed, provide a phone number and the name of a counselor. Prepare the patient and family for the possible need for rehabilitation after the acute care phase of hospitalization.

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