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A new concept in total patient care

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Abstract

“Not enough time” is an often repeated phrase heard in all hospitals. The concept of a clinical assistant has evolved to help alleviate some of these “time” problems.

The primary responsibility of the clinical assistant is to promote and maintain excellence in the technical, physical, and emotional care of the neurosurgical patient. By assisting the physician in the clinic, hospital, operating room, and research laboratory, clinical assistants work toward a goal of total patient care.

The Department of Neurological Surgery has expanded greatly in recent years. Members of the neurosurgical staff believe that merely to increase the number of Fellows serves only to decrease the amount of learning opportunity for each Fellow. An alternative solution has been to add the clinical assistants to the neurosurgical team.

These newest members of the Department of Neurological Surgery are registered nurses. Previous experience includes service in neurosurgical nursing and in intensive care nursing. Perhaps the most important contribution to the team is providing continuity of care. The nurse assimilates four physical areas into one, hoping to attain a continuum of high quality patient care.

Clinic. When a patient comes for his initial appointment, the clinical assistant interviews him for medical history. If he is to be admitted to the hospital for diagnostic studies or surgery, preoperative counseling is begun. A pamphlet prepared by the Department of Neurological Surgery is used as a guide.

After hospital discharge, the patient returns to the Clinic for follow-up. At this time the clinical assistant discusses with the. . .


 

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