Title: When a Loved One is
A Family's Guide
Have you ever found yourself sitting in a hospital, alongside
a loved one, feeling confused, lost and overwhelmed? Hospitals
are inherently frightening places, especially today as they are
doing more with less staff and providing shorter hospital stays.
That's the bad news but the good news is that there is now a
guide that not only arms you with critical information but also
helps you to become the advocate your loved one needs in order to
ensure they receive quality medical care.
The name of this guide is When a Loved One is
A Family's Guide. This book is written
by two clinical social workers, who have more than two decades of
combined experience as medical social workers. Michael R. Caballero, LCSWR and Jolie R. Giardino, CSW, C.S.A.P. bring
not only important medical information, but also great tips on
self-care and how to effectively advocate for your loved one.
This book includes the following chapters:
- Chapter 1: The Special Language of Medicine
This chapter acknowledges the difference in
"languages" spoken between non-medical people
and medical professionals. It helps to close those gaps
by providing you with much of the basic medical
terminology needed to successfully negotiate the hospital
- Chapter 2: Surviving the Crisis This
chapter normalizes the very emotional and unsettling
experience of having someone you love hospitalized. It
explores the various emotional stages encountered and
provides suggestions for good self-care.
- Chapter 3: Tests, Tests and More Tests
This chapter provides an overview as well as definitions
for many of the medical tests a patient may experience.
It gives the reader standard ranges for many blood tests,
providing the reader with an understanding as to normal
- Chapter 4: Hospital Staff: Who Are They? What is
their Role? As the title suggests, this chapter
identifies the many and varied "ologists" a
patient and family may meet in the hospital setting. The
authors explain who they are and the role they play in
the care of the patient.
- Chapter 5: Working Together - The Patient Care
Partnership The Patient Care Partnership -
Understanding Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities
is a comprehensive document developed by the American
Hospital Association. It is reprinted in this book with
their permission. This document greatly expands the
existing Patient Bill Of Rights.
- Chapter 6: Advance Directives This may
be one of the most important chapters in the book. This
chapter explores the necessity and usefulness of having
such documents as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, DNR
and DNI forms as well as a Power of Attorney. The authors
also explore the emotional challenge of completing these
documents as well as how to best approach family members
- Chapter 7: The ICU Experience The
Intensive Care Unit can be one of the most frightening
places to be, both for the family and the patient. This
chapter attempts to de-mystify all those machines,
alarms, numbers and lines. By understanding what they all
are and what the numbers mean, family members may be less
frightened and less overwhelmed.
- Chapter 8: Going Home This chapter
provides practical and valuable suggestions to best
prepare the patient and family for the patient's
discharge and return home. While the book is a very
practical, technical guide, it is written with humor and
humanity, which makes it very readable and user friendly.