Tips For Nurses To Help Patients Endure A Hospital Stay
One of the most stressful aspects of being in a hospital is not knowing what to expect. Everyone wants to feel more in control and less stressed out when faced with a hospital stay, and there’s no denying that hospitals can be terrifying places for many patients for many different reasons. (Nurses)
Unfamiliar noises often echo throughout hospitals, and patients might not know what procedure will happen next, which can cause stress levels and anxiety to rise. However, nurses can help alleviate patients’ worries in a number of ways and help them have a much more comfortable time in the hospital. How exactly? Keep on reading to find out.
The Hospital Stay (And Where Nurses Fit In)
It’s important to note that a patient’s experience in a hospital will vary from person to person. This is in part due to the fact that each stage of involvement with the health system has differing amounts of treatment and room for personal input.
As a nurse, it is your role to help patients navigate the hospital. A patient’s experience will depend on how much input they are able to garner regarding their care and treatment, and you can help guide them and answer questions if you so choose, making their stay much more personal and bearable.
In addition, it’s good to regularly ask patients if they’d like help with anything. Letting patients know that you’re available to assist may help them rest easier in the hospital, ultimately enhancing their stay and relieving their concerns.
Optimize Your Patients’ Experience
Hospitals should not be places that patients are afraid of, and the following are several things you can do to help yours feel more at ease during their stay.
Help Them Make Peace With Their Stay
Patients can end up in a hospital for many reasons, and if they are generally very independent, it may frustrate them to be stuck there. Therefore, helping patients make peace with the fact that they need to remain under professional medical care is important.
There are many reasons a patient may be in the hospital, and often it is not because they are ill. For example, patients that require surgery may not directly expect to be there for months, so explaining to them the exact reason and timeline for their stay can help relieve their fears.
Make Them Feel Safe And Comfortable
A lot of patients accept they’re in a hospital and often know why as well, but they don’t always feel like they’re truly safe or comfortable. This can make them feel stressed out or uneasy, and these feelings need to be taken into consideration during your caretaking duties as a nurse.
Practice Your Own Self-Care
Practicing your own self-care as a nurse is absolutely crucial. After all, how can you care for others if you’re not taking care of yourself?
There are many ways that you can practice self-care. You could take breaks in your shift to go for a walk or even just lay down for a short while.You could also do breathing exercises, read a book, or just have some quiet time away from everything and everyone else.
Self-care is important for your health and well-being, as well as the health of your patients, which is why readjusting and maintaining your work-life balance is vital for being an effective nurse.
Have Your Patients Stay Active
Staying active is important for many reasons, but especially during a hospital stay when your patients may be unable to get up and about and do the things they would normally do.
There are many ways they can stay active during their time in the hospital, whether going for walks, sitting at a desk to read, or even something as simple as coloring or drawing in their free time. Staying active helps the mind, and good mental health aids recovery; thus, ensuring your patients are kept stimulated is a major part of their care.
Remind Them To Ask For Your help
Remind patients to ask for help as often as possible. You’re meant to be an active part of your patients’ stays and can often help them with things that they otherwise would not be able to do for themselves, such as getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom or walk around a little bit.
Remind Them That They Can Only Do So Much
Patients may end up being scared in the hospital because they feel helpless and out of control when it comes to their care. This is a natural feeling for many people and can make them feel rushed and overwhelmed when they’re not expecting it.
Not being able to do much may also be very frustrating for some patients, especially those who are usually quite independent.
However, reminding them to let go and focus on the work that you can do for them is important. They don’t have to be able to do everything for themselves because it’s your job as a nurse to provide care, so don’t forget to reassure them that you’re there to help.
Allow Some Home Comforts
Having a few amenities available helps patients feel at ease, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. You can let them keep things like toothbrushes, hair brushes, a small comforter or robe, reading material, a lamp, and even snacks for those times when they feel like they need them.
Most patients will have family bringing things in, but it may be worth asking them if there is anything specific the family can getfor them so you can advise accordingly. Specifics could be obvious items like a phone charger or laptop, but they might also be sentimental, like a photograph or a favorite blanket.
Schedule Required Visits Regularly
If there’s anything that helps patients feel more in control of their health, it’shaving scheduled visits from healthcare professionals. These checkups are required for medical staff to monitor and manage a patient’s condition in case of any complications arising.
This will also allow you as a medical professional to check in on your patients and make sure that everything is going well with their treatment and recovery.
Find Ways For Patients To Connect With One Another
It can be lonely in the hospital, and many patients will feel isolated from the outside world. You can help by encouraging them to reach out to friends and family, but you may also want to find ways for them to connect with other patients as well.
When patients have friends or family members visit,you could encourage them to enjoy conversation over a game of cards or a board game with other patients – so long as it’s appropriate, of course. You could also have some board games or puzzles available for your patients if they’d like to play together when visitors aren’t there.
Develop A Sense Of Humor
Finally, developing a sense of humor is an important aspect of the hospital environment.
There’s nothing worse than a nurse who’s constantly taking things too seriously.
There are many ways to lighten the mood and make people feel more at ease and comfortable around you, and one of them is comedy.Even if you don’t seem like a funny person yourself, it won’t always be evident just through your presence, and you can learn to be less serious and enjoy a little bit of humor with your coworkers and patients if you’re not a natural joker.
No one is expecting you to be a stand-up comedian as well as a nurse, but a little lighthearted humor can go a long way to lighten the mood – and it’s excellent for enhancing your patients’ stays!
Get Them Some Comfy Pillows
Comfortable pillows are important in the hospital. Having a non-slippery or easy-to-grip pillow that your patients can reach out for and hold onto easily is important, especially if they’re injured and in pain or feeling exhausted.
These simple items can help your patients feel more at ease and comfortable while trying to sleep through the night, or even when awake. Pillows come in a variety of different styles, sizes, and materials, so you can get the perfect pillow suited to each patient’s needs.
Allow Them To EnjoyMusic
Music is an important part of the healing process. It helps relax the body and calm down the mind, which can be greatly beneficial during a stressful or rough period in your patients’ recovery.
You can allow your patients to bring in their favorite music while they’re in the hospital, but you may also want to make some available to them as well in case they don’t have their own or they forget to bring some.
You could provide music through a small speaker that they can have on their bedside table for easy access, or you could even have access to a small radio, CD player, or MP3 player with headphones for them to use at their leisure.
Ask Them About Their Favorite Food
Plenty of patients will be able to bring in their favorite foods if needed, but you should also ask them about their favorite foods and what they like to eat.
They may not have time for a proper meal during the day, or they simply might not feel like eating the food that’s offered. However, if they can ask someone to bring in a favorite dish, they may enjoy it.
Discussing food could also be something as simple as asking them what they like about their sandwiches so that you can help a family member find something for them in the hospital canteen.
While working in a hospital is undoubtedly challenging, being an active nurse can be one of the most important aspects of your job. You’re meant to show your patients that you care about them and you’re there to help them during their time of need.
You can do this by acting as their liaison between patient and doctor, finding ways for them to feel more comfortable with the situation, and ensuring they receive the best care possible.
Providing comfort and giving your patients some needed entertainment will also help make their stay in the hospital more enjoyable, so always keep these points in mind when looking to maximize your their experience under your care.