It is imperative for patients to choose someone that they trust to become involved in their care because time will come when their condition will weaken them. They will need assistance preparing meals, with activities of daily living, and transportation to clinic visits. And someone has to assist them with decision making, listening, providing feedback and help to release pent-up emotions. Choosing someone early in the treatment plan will allow them time to plan thheir time to be available for at least 100 days post-treatment.
During the 100 days, the patient will be required to come to the clinic three times a week for examination by the Medical Director and/or Nurse Practitioner. The writer has devised tools that will aid in the recall and retention of instructions and information. The “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet has information that patients can refer to for answers that they want to ask (Appendix B for the questions). A laminated one page Pre- and Post-Transplant Timeline charts the transplant course in simple terms that patients and staff can refer to when explaining their current position (Appendix C).
The NMDP will provide large and colorful posters about the transplant process, the stem cell and other blood cells of the body. These posters will be placed in the examination rooms. Patients can see them as they wait for the physician and/or nurse to arrive. Time will be allowed between each new concept and word to give patients time to process the information, formulate questions, and indicate understanding. It has been suggested to the Medical Director to limit the amount of information discussed to ensure that the patients would receive all the information needed to make an informed decision.
These tools and suggestions were implemented immediately by the patients and staff. The Medical and Nursing Directors have given their approval. The success of this proposal would not have been possible, if the needs of the patients had not been explored.
1. Bittman, B. (2003). The Stress-Memory Connection: key insights for your future. Retrieved on August 21, 2005 from: http://www. mind-body. org/stress-memory. htm 2. Comeau, S. (2002, September 26). Stress, memory and social support. McGill Reporter,(35). Retrieved on August 21, 2005 from: http://www. mcgill. ca/reporter/35/02/lupien/.