Practical Caregiving Tips To Advocate For Your Hospitalized Brain Injury Patient – Part 3
by Marie Gibson
The tips in this article – part three of a three part series – will help you step into an advocacy role for your brain injury patient, feel more confident about your role as a caregiver, and communicate effectively with medical professionals. These tips and actions are practical and provide real life advice to help you navigate through the countless tests, doctors, nurses, therapists, medicines and other medical professionals and new terminology. Moving forward, accept that you have a steep learning curve and apply yourself persistently.
Part 3: Tips for Control and Confidence of one’s own emotions
You will serve an important role in the healing of your patient and you must recognize this fact as early as possible. Take small baby steps if you must—but be sure to take steps. Find your confidence and try to stay in control of your emotions. By taking a few simple steps you will realize that you are not powerless and you can make a huge difference in your patient’s stay.
- Remember the five ‘Rules of Medicine’ —Right patient, right drug, right amount, right time, and in the right manner. Although accidents are infrequent in hospitals, the staff can get overworked and tired; they are only human. Double-check every dose of medicine as a precaution.
- Staying informed is important in your role as an advocate for the patient. It’s your right and it’s your patient’s health.
- Adopt the motto “Cleanliness is the route to healthiness!” Hospital-acquired bacterial infections are a serious risk to your patient. Anything you can do to keep the bacteria minimized is exceptionally important.
- Prevent sick or depressed people from visiting your patient. Patients’ resistance and immune system are compromised after surgery. You must protect them from outside illnesses and from people that will be negative.
- Watch for bedsores not just on the bums, but also on elbows, knees, ankles, hips and backbones. Have nurses treat them immediately to prevent infections.
- Realize that some patients have very fragile skin and that sores are quick to develop. They might begin as small red irritated spots, and can grow quickly without the medical professionals noticing. Bed sores may seem trivial but they are a matter of life or death—this is important.
- Keep track of any behavioral changes or issues that your patient may have with the drugs. Interactions can occur even though the patient has been using the medicine for a long time.
Marie Gibson is an author and speaker who advises caregivers on how family members can become crucial advocates for their hospitalized family member, and who also leads employee training at health care institutions. She is author of The Caregiver’s Journal and Peace of Mind for Caring Hearts and Helping Hands.
Using an organizational tracking tool like The Caregiver’s Journal will provide greater clarity in comforting your patient, communicating and collaborating for their health with the medical professionals and you will have more confidence and control of your own emotions. If you find these tips valuable, you’ll find more at www.The-Caregivers-Journal.com.