Healthcare Professionals: How Mindful are you of Patients?
As a healthcare professional, not only do your responsibilities include taking care of your patients’ physical well being, but you need to also take care of their emotional state. As healthcare professionals, you should understand that the way patients handle their emotions, and the way they are treated by their caregivers, plays an important role in their physical healing. These are things that you would never be taught in your healthcare assistant training program, but as a healthcare assistant it is important that you should understand how to be mindful of your patients.
Patients may find it awkward to ask you for help when they have to go to the bathroom. Never make them feel degraded or ashamed to ask for help when they need it. Treat such a request in a matter-of-fact manner, and be aware of when they need to go to the bathroom, as it is crucial to their recovery. Not having a bowel movement on time could cause them to get blocked up.
Patients are already in a fragile state of emotions and do not want to be told how bad their injuries are looking! They are in hospital for this very reason; because they are not in good shape. Be positive, and tell them they are looking better and brighter every day. Patients will get cheered up if they are told that they look good, and will soon be on the road to recovery. Being in good spirits will never hurt and can greatly help their healing.
Do not force a patient to undertake therapy of whatever sort- physical or mental. The healing process takes time, and they need to be gently coaxed into it. Patients who are in pain will resist any sort of physical therapy but you must explain to them what the benefits will be, and help them to push themselves into doing whatever they can to heal themselves.
Some patients may be anxious to know more about the medication they are on, and how their treatment is progressing. This is only natural, and you should not get irritated with constant queries about their progress. Their relatives may also be very worried and may keep asking for help. Understand that they are going through a lot of stress because their loved one is ill, and stay calm and patient while answering their questions.
Critically ill patients need to be treated with extreme care and compassion. Many of them may not know the extent of their illness, and if the caretakers of the patient feel that they need not be told they are so ill, then you must respect their wishes. Sometimes it may be in the best interests of the patient that the spark of hope of a recovery is kept alive.
All these are qualities and skills that may not be taught to you in a healthcare certification program — but will help you a great deal in your daily dealings with your patients. For this reason we tend to focus on training our students at IHNA to learn the essential clinical and technical skills any healthcare workers needs to have, as well as emphasising on the importance of caring for patient’s emotions and intellectual level which can boost their wellbeing and healing process.
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