When people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are admitted to a hospital, it is most often not for their PD but is for some other condition. Nonetheless, they have unique needs related to their PD that nurses and doctors may not be aware of. Thus, the patient or caregiver must inform the staff of those needs. A major consideration is the timing of medications. The typical hospital practice of dispensing medications every three or four hours may not work for someone with PD who has carefully worked out with their neurologist the best individual medication schedule to give them the best outcomes. One helpful resource is the Parkinson’s Foundation’s free Aware in Care kit that can specify what medications should be given to that individual and when. In this episode, Edie Simpson, a retired neurology nurse from the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, describes how hospitals typically operate and explains why a person with PD or a care partner must educate hospital staff and be an advocate for the hospitalized person to ensure the best and safest care possible.
- Episode 55: Changing the Hospital Experience through Aware in Care (podcast)
- Medication Form
- About Aware in Care Ambassadors
- About the Aware in Care Kit
About This Episode
Released: March 10, 2020
Edie Simpson, RN, CNRN
Edie Simpson worked as a Research Assistant in the Neuromuscular physiology lab at the University of Virginia. She then attended nursing school at the University of Virginia School of Nursing and worked in the surgical ICU, then as the Head Nurse at UVA's regional Burn Center. Moving to San Francisco in the early 1980's, Edie was motivated to return to her research roots, working in a variety of disciplines related to AIDS. She then moved to Phoenix, where she was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with her two sons. She later returned to work in clinical research, again in HIV/AIDS, until she found movement disorders. She was a research nurse for the Muhammad Ali Movement Disorder Center, a Center of Excellence, from 2009 through 2017. Over the last few years her role expanded to include clinical support and education. Recently retired, she continues to participate in educational activities in the PD community, mainly as an ATTP co -coordinator. Edie graduated from Mary Washington College with a degree in biology.
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For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode “An Aware in Care Success Story.”