The reasons why I truly feel that nurses are better, as a COPD case manager, is because we are equipped to look at the holistic approach to the patient. Not just the disease of COPD but also to look at all the other factors that would hinder them getting better. The psychosocial, the emotional part of it. The other diseases that are a part of COPD, we are able to look at that and be able to make sure they're getting that treatment, that will help them be better overall not just look at COPD.
We are able to look at medications. The COPD patient is usually on at least four to five medications. So we're able to provide medication reconciliation, making sure that these medications are not interacting negatively with each other. Because guess what? Negative interaction can earn them a hospital visit, and that could've been avoided if we could've looked at the patient, our patient, and been able to tackle those issues then.
We also look at psychosocial. How was the mental status of the patient, how was the self-esteem? Can we help them to see themselves still as a whole person even though they have COPD?
We take into consideration the assessment of the patient, identification of the factors that are exacerbating, perhaps, the condition of the COPD. We also look at the family dynamics.
We also are able to look at, okay, you have this going on with COPD, however, you also have this medical condition going on. Those two things could be interacting negatively with each other and we're able to say, okay, let's get this done so that we can make you better with this also.