After a diabetic patient suffering from dizzy spells and fainting went to the local Emergency Room, a doctor recommended follow up with a primary healthcare provider. However, the patient spoke little English and had no means of reliable transportation to see a primary care doctor. HealthFinders was recommended.
The patient had been to HealthFinders before. However, despite providers’ best efforts, the patient was still struggling with health issues and diabetes. So, when the patient returned to HealthFinders, a home visit with Community Healthcare worker, Raquel was arranged. The hope was that in visiting the patient in their own environment Raquel could possibly discover the reasons underlying the patient’s difficulty in following the recommended care plan.
During the home visit, Raquel encouraged the patient to attend HealthFinders diabetes class but it soon became clear that diabetes was not the only health issue for the patient. Raquel noticed they were struggling to read the instructions on the insulin bottle. Initially, Raquel re-wrote the instructions larger and in Spanish. However, even with the larger letters and instructions written in Spanish, the patient continued to look puzzled. Raquel inquired whether the patient could read, at which point the patient revealed that they could not. Unable to read and having vision problems, they been guessing medication dosages.
Raquel then color coded the insulin, wrote big numbers on each of the bottles and provided the patient with a Syringe Magnifier. In addition, she not only also made sure there was referral for the eye clinic but because Raquel knew there were transportation issues, she drove the patient to the actual eye appointment and a grant through the Lions Club supplied the patient with new eye glasses!
A return visit found the patient feeling much better with a renewed sense of self-esteem. No longer suffering from dizzy spells, they are routinely coming to their medical appointments and exercising daily. Moreover, the patient now understands the medications and the proper dosages.
While the diabetes remains an issue, the patient is taking active steps to manage the disease. “I am very grateful for all that HealthFinders and the Community Health Workers have helped me with. I tell all my friends that I feel they really care about patients. Because of HealthFinders, I can see again with my new glasses and I know more about my diabetes medications. I hope everyone finds out about the work you all do and how much it has helped me.”
The work our Community Health Workers at HealthFinders goes beyond the exam room into the community where our patients live. They continue to work diligently to remove barriers to care access to help insure that everyone receives the health care they need no matter what their life circumstances.