This patient had been admitted to the ER after becoming SOB during his afternoon workout. It was discovered that he had a spontaneous hemothorax, and a chest tube was inserted in the ER and placed to suction. Late into the night shift dark red blood started draining from the chest tube, Dr. M was called and he came to speak to the patient and family. Dr. M explained the reasons for the bleeding, that the patient needed a thoracoscopy, and that he would perform the procedure later in the day after his previously scheduled cases. The family and patient verbalized understanding of this and Aubree, the nurse for the day shift, obtained consent for the procedure.
As the morning went on and the pleur-evac filled with blood, the family became very uneasy. They had questions as to why he had to wait for surgery, as he seemed to be getting worse to them. They asked if there was another surgeon that could help their son faster, and they had many other questions about the thoracoscopy. Aubree assessed the patient and found that he had no physical changes (VS, LOC, etc) since the early morning assessment and assured the family that he was indeed stable. She took very seriously their concerns about the additional bleeding as the rate had definitely increased. The family apologized for being "annoying" and she assured them that they were not annoying, but that they were good parents who were concerned for their son. She listened to all of their questions and answered anything that she was qualified to answer and acknowledged all of their concerns.
Aubree understood early in this conversation that they needed more assurances and answers. She spent a lot of time listening. The parents seemed relieved that their concerns were heard. Aubree called the surgeon's extender and explained the increase in bleeding and the parent's concerns. He stated that he and Dr. H would be down right away to talk to the family. They were on the floor within 10 minutes reviewing the patient chart and decided to do the procedure immediately. Aubree and the surgical team went into the patient's room to discuss this and the family was very thankful and happy to have had their concerns heard and acted upon. The patient was transported to the OR. The family thanked Aubree for her help as they left the floor.