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Rounding Together

Updated: Aug 26, 2022



smiling doctor and nurse talk to smiling patient in hospital bed.

One day I was rounding on the medical-surgical floor, and I was about to see a patient.


The patient’s nurse had never rounded with me. I advocate the nurse walking into the patient’s room with the physician to discuss the plan of care for the patient.


This is beneficial because the patient gets to hear the basic plan of care.


The nurse gets to meet and talk with the physician, and the physician is also able to state what is needed for the patient for the day.


Everyone can have a sense of being on the same page or at least present in that discussion. My patient had a cancer diagnosis, and there were issues concerning the plan of care that needed to be clarified.


I sat down and reviewed the plan of care with the patient and her daughter who was at the bedside.


I enjoyed speaking with the patient and her daughter, and the nurse was present to hear the plan of care and express his concerns as well.


After I finished meeting with the patient and her daughter, the nurse said that he was very impressed and surprised at how great I handled the discussion with the patient. He also noted that he had never rounded with me.


I appreciated his comment. It was very humbling because we do need to be there for each other — doctors and nurses partnering and being there and available for our patients as well as families.


Sometimes we get very busy, and we may not be able to spend the amount of time that we want to.


I think there will be more opportunities to be surprised as nurses partner with physicians.


This surprise won’t be because things went wrong; we will be surprised because we appreciate those elements of communication that improve patient care.


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