My first ward round

N0011853 Hospital ward round teaching session Credit: Wellcome Photo Library.

N0011853 Hospital ward round teaching session
Credit: Wellcome Photo Library.

The header title is not strictly speaking correct. If you read my previous post about Donate Life week, you would have discovered that I’ve had a kidney transplant. My first ward round experiences were as a patient. Like clockwork, the Drs, students and others would come around to read my chart and discuss any issues and plans. Sometimes they would come around twice a day – once in the morning and once later in the day. Life as an inpatient can be very boring so the ward rounds were a diversion and also a way to mark time. When I started as a clinical librarian, I was wondering how joining a ward round could be useful. I knew from experience that they are very fast and sometimes there are so many people involved, they don’t all fit in the patients room. I was chatting to a  consultant at the front desk at the library one day about something not connected to ward rounds, and she asked out of interest, what other things clinical librarians do. I mentioned ward rounds (among other things) and expressed my doubts about utility but she said – why not come along and we can find out. So last fortnight I turned up at the acute care unit at 8am (the round started about 30mins after that) and went on 2 rounds. One with just the registrar and the consultant and after break, again around to see more patients with the registrar, consultant, pharmacist, physiotherapist, nurse and interns. The consultant introduced me at the earlier round and asked if the patient and family were happy to have me there – yes they were, no problems! The patients and families were delighted when the crowd of people turned up – the faces of some of the patients just lit up. I got my first go at bedside conversation and I got questions to answer (I took along the ipad just in case there was an opportunity to search but there wasn’t – it was too fast). And did everyone fit in the patient’s room during the second rounding? No, but I managed to sometimes.



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