Working with our patients to ensure the best outcome – Endocrinology team

“Massive thank you to you all for putting my life in the safest hands. I have been in hospitals all my life but truly you all made me feel so safe and respected my wishes” this is how a patient described her recent experience with the Endocrinology department at Monash Medical Centre. Clinical Professor Georgia Soldatos joined a recent employee forum to discuss her experience with this patient.  

Recently the Endocrinology department in conjunction with many other clinical teams at Monash Medical Centre treated a female in her early 20s. The patient had an existing chronic disease and had spent most of her life in and out of health services. 

She developed an overactive thyroid in 2021. Her symptoms resulted in multiple hospital presentations, with the patient struggling to tolerate the medication and not responding well to the treatment.    

In the second half of 2022 she returned to Monash Health, this is where Georgia Soldatos first met the patient.  

“It became clear to the team and I that this patient was not thriving, and the overactive thyroid was compromising the management of her underlying chronic condition and the patient was becoming incredibly frustrated by the lack of progress” said Clinical Professor Georgia Soldatos. 

The treating teams came together with the patient, listened to her concerns and as a result could plan for definitive surgical treatment. This involved the treating team partnering with the endocrine surgeons and Hospital in the Home (HITH) to develop a plan that allowed her to go home and be closely monitored by nurses twice daily. At home, nurses visited the patient to give medication, monitor side effects and take blood. After two weeks under HITH care the patient was able to undergo surgery and the thyroid was successfully removed. 

“This is a really good example of what can be achieved when we partner with our patients to co-develop management plans. Patients who have spent extended periods of time in hospital are often very good at identifying what works well and where the gaps are. This, combined with self-advocacy can make it challenging for us as clinicians. I would encourage all employees who may be inclined to think about these patients as challenging to instead consider them as patients in distress, try and walk in their shoes and remember the quote by Mary Angelou ‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel’ ” said Georgia Soldato. 

You can watch Clinical Professor Georgia Soldatos talk to this at a recent employee forum here: Employee Forum, 31 January 2023 

We look forward to sharing some more of the extraordinary efforts of our teams and the feedback we receive at our employee forums throughout the year. 

You can watch last week’s patient story with A/Prof Felix Oberender here: Employee Forum 2023-01-24  

 Approved by Anjali Dhulia 

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