Patient empowerment through informed choice is an important message; consistently reinforced through Government initiatives, Trust directives and our Professional Code of Conduct. Historically the Endocrine Nurse Specialist (ENS) performed the role of clinic nurse during Endocrine Clinic. Recognising this as a waste of specialist expertise and resource; identified drug company funding provided a replacement clinic nurse, liberating the ENS to see patients following their doctor consultation. The rationale for this was to provide consistent advice, education and counselling for this patient group.
A survey of patient contacts was carried out over a 20-week period in 2002. Of 639 patients seen by physicians, 99 patients were referred to the ENS. Of these patients, 36 required organisation of dynamic function tests. 33 sought information concerning their condition. 25 required general discussion and counselling. 5 required information relating to new treatment regimes. The ENS also performed routine phlebotomy, providing opportunity for further discussion and a succinct flow to the appointment.
The role change of the ENS in clinic enhanced patient understanding, facilitating the promotion of informed choice and consent. Following positive verbal feedback from patients in this sample, a more structured evaluation of this service is planned.
22 - 24 Mar 2004
British Endocrine Societies