The following feedback for the chapter case study is meant to provide guidance for your own practice. The answers provided are suggestions, and you may have additional ideas which are not covered below. Then, the resolution of the case as it occurred in real life is provided for your reference.
What questions will you ask Gerald to help understand what may be happening?
- When did you start feeling this way?
- Do you remember being around anyone that was not feeling well in the last week?
- When did you last eat and drink, and did you have any difficulty eating your food?
What physical signs will you look for to help understand what is happening?
- Is he oriented or is he confused?
- What do his vital signs show about a possible infection. Does he have a temperature?
- Does he have any wounds?
- Is he dehydrated? Is his skin dry?
- Has he urinated lately? Has he had a bowel movement? If so, was it a usual BM?
What observations will you report to your supervisor?
- All observations you see and the client’s words should be reported.
What would you expect to happen regarding his room situation?
- Your supervisor will determine if isolation is needed, but the client will self-isolate until then.
The personal care assistant assessed Gerald and found that he had the following symptoms:
- an elevated temperature
- muscle aches
The symptoms pointed to either a food- (i.e. bacteria) or virus-related cause. Since no other residents were ill with these symptoms and all had eaten the same meals, food (bacteria) was ruled as unlikely. A call to the family found that a few members he had been with were ill with the same symptoms. Therefore, a virus was the likely culprit. As a matter of concern for spread, Gerald remained in his side of the room for the next 48 hours.