In medicine, just like in any other craft, there are plenty of intermediaries or stakeholders, which are involved in the process of healing and decision-making regarding what kind of treatment has to be administered to a patient.
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My practicum is in the area of Prevention of Complications and PICC line Reinsertions in Kendal Regional Medical Center. A PICC line translates as Peripherally-Inserted Central Catheter. It is a long and thin line, which is inserted into a patient’s vein in the upper arm, and travels through it until it is close to the heart (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, 2016).
The line is used to supply the organism with nutrients, as well as to inject medicine into the bloodstream. Whenever a blood test is required, the catheter could be used to draw some blood, with no need for any additional punctures (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter – Insertion, 2016).
Stakeholders involved in the procedure
The patient is the centerpiece of any medical procedure. The patient stands outside of the medical hierarchy. However, he or she does take part in decision-making regarding the PICC line insertion procedure. A medical specialist must explain and inform the patient of benefits and possible complications of the procedure, to obtain their informed consent. It is a very important thing to do, as it ensures that the doctors are not violating the patient’s rights or abusing his trust, and is a part of the modern medical law.
The medical consultant is one of the major stakeholders involved in the PICC line procedure. The consultant resides high within the medical hierarchy, and has interns and resident officers by their side, to assist him in treatments of the patients (Medical Career Hierarchy, 2013). During my practicum, I will be placed under one such consultant. The consultant must assess the analyses, make a decision on whether the catheter should be used or not, explain the procedure to the patient, and obtain their written consent. The consultant also prescribes the required medicaments.
A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse that is specialized in a particular field, rather than in a broader area, as nurse practitioners are (The Nursing Hierarchy, 2016). The nurse is the one to conduct the procedure of inserting the catheter into the patient’s vein. After the procedure is completed, the nurse must instruct the patient on how to take care of the catheter. This includes the proper flushing of the catheter, safety measures, and the administration of medicine. During my practicum, it is likely for me to be assisting such a nurse, assist wherever I could, and instructing the patient, as it falls under the Prevention of Complications.
The radiographer is another key stakeholder involved in the PICC line insertion and reinsertion procedures. To introduce the catheter into a patient’s body, a large enough vein has to be chosen as a channel. To pick the right vein, an ultrasound picture of the patient’s circulatory system. A radiographer is a trained health specialist and an important member of the diagnostics team (O’Sullivan & Goergen, 2015). During my practicum, I will often be tasked with the analysis of the ultrasound images provided.
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A registered nurse is the one who will be taking care of the patient after the procedure is completed. These nurses comprise the largest segment of medical workers. The RN will assist the patient in handling the catheter, as well as provide for any other needs of the patient placed in their care (What is Nursing? 2016).
Medical Career Hierarchy. (2013).
O’Sullivan, B., & Goergen, S. (2015). The Radiographer.
Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter. (2016).
Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter – Insertion. (2016).
What is Nursing? (2016).