Clinical placements

A passport to better care for patients with Parkinson’s

Difficulties faced by patients inspired nursing student Lorraine Ramnath to develop a Parkinson’s Passport to help ensure people receive the right care.
Lorraine Ramnath

Difficulties faced by patients inspired nursing student Lorraine Ramnath to develop a Parkinsons Passport to help ensure people receive the right care

During my clinical practice placements I started to notice the ill effects experienced by some hospital patients with Parkinsons due to missed or incorrectly prescribed medication.

After listening to patients' stories and fears I designed and implemented a 'Parkinson's Passport' within my hospital trust.

The aim of the passport is to share important information relating to a patient's current treatment, help them to remain independent with their own medication regimen, offer reassurance, and help reduce their fear and anxiety.

It can also help nurses and other healthcare professionals to better understand patients individual care needs, such as assistance with personal hygiene and mobility, enabling more accurate and effective care planning.

...

Difficulties faced by patients inspired nursing student Lorraine Ramnath to develop a Parkinson’s Passport to help ensure people receive the right care

Parkinsons
The Parkinson's Passport booklet designed by nursing student Lorraine Ramnath.

During my clinical practice placements I started to notice the ill effects experienced by some hospital patients with Parkinson’s due to missed or incorrectly prescribed medication.

After listening to patients' stories and fears I designed and implemented a 'Parkinson's Passport' within my hospital trust. 

The aim of the passport is to share important information relating to a patient's current treatment, help them to remain independent with their own medication regimen, offer reassurance, and help reduce their fear and anxiety. 

It can also help nurses and other healthcare professionals to better understand patients’ individual care needs, such as assistance with personal hygiene and mobility, enabling more accurate and effective care planning. 

Individual needs

Another difficulty experienced by patients with Parkinson's, which often adds to a fear of going into hospital, is a lack of awareness about the condition among some nursing and care staff, and how to recognise patients’ individual and sometimes fluctuating needs. 

Alongside raising awareness and educating staff, the passport enables better individualised care planning. The booklet contains valuable information relating to care needs that is needed on admission to hospital, helping to improve the quality of care provided and enhance the patient’s experience. 

The booklet remains with the patient and becomes their personal source of communication, providing information during hospital admissions when they may be unable to do so themselves.

To help raise awareness of Parkinson's and improve patient care, I became a student ambassador and committee member of a working group within my hospital trust. I have become passionate about working with this unique group of patients, who need more understanding about their condition. 

Better experience

The process I have undertaken – to design, develop, research and implement the Parkinson's Passport – has taught me how important it is to not be afraid to speak out about an area of practice which is not working, or identify a need for change or improvement. 

As nursing students we learn about evidence-based practice and research. But it is not until you experience the process yourself that you really understand the importance and benefit an idea, no matter how small, can have on improving patient care.

Ensuring Parkinson's medication is correctly prescribed at the time of admission, and recognising and communicating individual needs across the wider multidisciplinary team, helps ensure that a person-centred care plan is established from the start. 

Putting these measures in place will help ensure that existing Parkinson's treatment continues uninterrupted, and provide greater understanding and awareness of each patient's individual needs. Hopefully this will result in a reduced length of hospital stay and an overall improved experience for such patients. 

By promoting collaborative working, and forging links with various specialities and healthcare providers, the passport is now a recognised document within my hospital trust. It is starting to be used in community and outpatient clinics, and at a local support group for patients and their families and carers.

Lorraine Ramnath

Lorraine Ramnath graduated from the Open University in 2016. She was a finalist in the Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award category at the 2017 RCNi Nurse Awards. 

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs