In an effort to standardize the act of waking up patients in the morning during pre-rounding, the CDC has just released a universal algorithm for use in American hospitals.
“It’s long been known that it can be challenging to wake patients in the early morning for essential questions like orientation and overnight bowel movements,” Said CDC chief science officer Dr. Christopher Fein. “We wanted to create a streamlined system to more easily wake the patients.”
The algorithm starts with a provider clearing his or her throat and pacing loudly around the patient’s room. Next, it requires the provider to state the patient’s name in increasing levels of volume. If this fails, the provider is to gently rub the patient’s shoulder. After this, however, things get interesting.
“Usually, providers were moving from the shoulder rub directly to the sternal rub,” said Dr. Fein. “Our research has shown that this can be avoided.”
Dr. Fein instead recommends that providers substitute the sternal rub with a moderate intensity tickling of the feet. “It seems to work just as well,” said Dr. Fein.
“If the foot tickling doesn’t work, we’d recommend playing the song “Friday” by Rebecca Black at max volume in the patient’s room. Very few humans can tolerate this,” he continued. The algorithm ends there.
We asked Dr. Fein what to do if the patient still wouldn’t wake up.
“Honestly, if playing the song “Friday” doesn’t work, try calling a code,” he said.