Knowledge of FH provides an opportunity to nurses to step up and play a pivotal role in identification.
If you have FH awareness then you are ideally placed to initiate opportunistic conversations with individuals and families about the consequences of having possible FH and leaving it untreated such as death from a heart attack at a very early age.
Nurses are in the business of saving lives therefore you are ideally placed at your workplace to make a huge difference to so many people – seize the opportunity!
Here are some enablers that I hope will give you inspiration to move ahead and embrace the ‘Call to Action on FH’ in 2020 – Nurses can make a difference - Be part of the team!
Be a spotter in your workplace
- Look and listen to patients and their families, colleagues, your own family members, friends and acquaintances when they tell you they have high cholesterol or someone in their family has had a heart attack at an early age.
- Apply your knowledge about FH when admitting patients on a daily basis while you are doing their medical and family history as part of your normal routine – be alert!
- Being informed about FH makes you an advocate to encourage others to seek further investigation in regards to their heart health or if they could possibly have this silent killer called FH.
- We want nurses in the workplace to be spotters for patients with clinical signs, family history of early heart disease and high LDL cholesterol. Why not be the first in your work area and then spread the word? By doing this you are contributing to saving lives!
- Detection is non-intrusive, it requires an initial conversation then consultation with their Resident, Cardiologist, GP, or Nurse Practitioner specialising in FH. It is essential that you know what to look for, so it is important you follow developments and attend seminars and workshops to keep you current.
Take this FIRST step and be part of the team in the GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION!
Be a Champion for FH
- Enhancing your knowledge in the area of FH to become the ‘go to Person’ in your workplace for your colleagues to seek advice on people they have identified with possible FH.
- Learn how to use the tools to assess possible FH and the referral pathway to specialist care if patients fit the criteria for possible FH.
- You will be part of a continuum of care NETWORK that can change the way FH is detected and managed.
- Imagine how you and your spotter will feel when you have identified 5 family members with FH from just one network connection!
Become a specialist in the Area
- As a champion your passion has been ignited to progress your education to becoming either a CNS in a local FH clinic (or even starting an FH clinic with a Clinician in your Hospital)
- Progressing to being a Nurse Practitioner and specialising in the emerging ‘Area of Designation’ and setting up your own Nurse Managed Lipid Clinic. I can guide you on your path.
Let’s all answer the ‘call to action in FH’ by climbing the stairs to what suits you and your work situation!