TALK TO A
Established April 15, 1995
University of West Georgia Disclaimer
COMMUNICATION is IMPERATIVE!
DO NOT make decisions for a patient without speaking WITH the patient's family members.
NEVER threaten a patient's family with a course of care that you know is not the right care, just so they will decide to take your original plan as it may be the least of two evils.
LISTEN to the patient, they may be trying to tell you something
WATCH for facial expressions and hand movements, they can give you a clue, when the words aren't there.
NEVER tell a patient, "You had a bleed, live with it." Get with the 21st century, look for the signs of depression and treat it.
ASK questions. You may know what's happening on your side of the scalpel, the patient knows what's happening on their side of the scalpel.
BE gentle and remember to treat your patient with respect. Never look at a patient who is dealing with aphasia and bark, "SPEAK".
SHOW that you care. Remember one day that patient could be your mother, father, sister, brother, child or YOU.
ALWAYS treat a patient with respect and dignity. Never say anything in front of a patient that you wouldn't say in front of the patient's family.
DON'T talk with the family members in front of the patient as if they aren't there. Most survivors can comprehend what you are saying and just may not be able to communicate that information.
DON'T wake a patient during the night to take a walk down the hall. Once again, a brain injured person becomes confused easily, don't do anything to create more confusion.
DO NOT change a patient's room, if it is not an emergency, late in the evening. It is the worst time of the day. They are tired and usually confused and a family member wouldn't be there to comfort them.
DO NOT transport patients in the general public elevators. With our compromised immune system it could be dangerous. It is also embarrassing.
NEVER chastize a patient who "loses" the monitor clipped to the ear when the head is turned, or to insist that the patient "lie still, don't turn your head" when that patient does not know they have undergone surgery, has numbness and swelling on the back of the head, has been alone for hours in the night. The patient becomes resentful at being treated like a naughty child, and believe it or not, is fully aware of the staff's irritability and lack of empathy.
NEVER put a bedside table, phone or any other essential item completely out of reach. You may be trying to get them to use their weakened side but please keep it safe.
IF a patient calls to cancel more than one neurology appointment due to vomiting, allow them an office visit to get dilantin level checked as the vomiting could be a sign of high dilantin level, and not a stomache virus.
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