A Day In The Life of a Discharge Lead

A Day In The Life of a Discharge Lead

A Day In The Life of a Discharge Lead

Morning in Hospital

By 8:30am, I have checked in with all our community staff, read the previous day’s reports, desperately tracked down a parking space in the sprawling hospital car parks, collected my tablet and work phones, and I’m ready to go. I make my way inside, walking alongside doctors, surgeons, nurses and visitors, past buildings built and adapted for the hospital’s rich and ever-changing history.

Walking into the office we share with respiratory, cardiac and business support teams, I take a moment to gather my wits and store any non-essential bits and pieces. I head into the social office to the sound of phones ringing, social workers discussing care plans, updates and the anticipatory gambling of today’s cafeteria lunch menu.

We all pull together to discuss possible discharges, our service capacity and the day’s priority patients. Discharges allocated, I leave the office and begin making my way to the various wards that we support, familiarising myself with patient names, dates, medical conditions and geographical locations as I tap my hospital pass against the ward door sensor.

Patients and Patience

Past midday and I have liaised with doctors, occupational therapists, bed managers and nurses to find out as much as possible for the patients we have been charged with assessing.
As I greet a patient laying in a hospital bed, she and her husband breathe a sigh of relief; it’s soon time to go home. I ask all our standard assessment questions, explaining our service as we go and easing any anxiety that I can.

Coming home from hospital is a tricky business and requires all the communication I can get from hospital to myself and then to our community team. The more knowledge we can document, the better we can support our patients and the more likely they won’t have to return to hospital for some time.
Doctors and ward sisters appeased, patients and families happy and informed, I say goodbye and thank everyone for their help. I explain our staff will be with them shortly after they return home, and they are welcome to call me any time with any questions. Only three more wards to go!

The Home Stretch

It’s 4pm, and with lunch long eaten and the late day coffee slump conquered, I talk to our PNA, Assessors and Nurses in the community. We organise the day’s work into forms and feedback to the head office and social office alike. We’ve taken three patients today, to add to the many we are already supporting. I’m grateful for a smooth day, as I fill out recommendations for further care, social worker visits and general feedback for the department leads. It’s getting dark outside as I tick my boxes making sure all work has been documented and all patients and staff are accounted for, using our digital systems to check on their day’s work.

As I walk back to the car, I receive a call from the husband of the patient I earlier discharged. She’s home, and very happy to be so. I let him know we are happy to help and that our staff will be round to visit shortly. He thanks me again and I wish them both a peaceful first night back at home.

Most days, the hospital feels like a giant complex machine and from my position I see the cogs turn, in awe of the delicate balance that keeps it all working. But today, I’m just glad we have three happy new patients.