The recent pandemic of COVID-19 left the world heavily reliant on the healthcare sector. It pressured the authorities to improve their quality of care more than ever before. As the building blocks of any healthcare center, nurses took upon their roles to provide a complete set of care services to their patients. Even before the epidemic of the contagious virus, nurses played an essential part in taking care of their patients. They have always had the broadest and extensive responsibilities, being advocates and educators for patients’ health, providing holistic care, participating in rehabilitation, and more.
But one of the most demanding duties of nurses is to care for their physically challenged patients. These individuals are deviated from the optimal health status and require special care, handling, and education. As a nurse, you are likely to have several experiences and contacts with patients who are physically disabled. It would put you in a difficult position, with concerns about assuring their care and positively connecting with them. Many registered nurses who wish to expand their careers and attain better skills to deal with such challenges grow their educational expertise. Collecting a post master’s certificate online is one way to enhance your abilities and gain a competitive advantage in the current market while completing your clinical hours. It will also help you to manage your studies and work simultaneously.
Such educational programs provide deep knowledge regarding the roles of nurses. Some ways in which you will learn to take care of physically challenged patients are:
- Maintaining Continuous Communication
Communication is the key to the success of any operation and activity. And suppose you, as a nurse, wish to provide an impactful quality of service to your physically challenged patients. In that case, you need to consider the essentiality of maintaining continuous communication. For instance, patients with blindness or vision impairment cannot catch on with the body language, so you need to explain each action verbally. If you don’t announce your presence in the room, your patient might feel threatened, and it may provoke a defensive reaction in them. Once you both are equally communicating, your patients will feel more empowered and understood.
So, nurses try to speak with the patients directly rather than addressing their family members when inquiring about their health. They help the patients who have mobility difficulties but always announce before doing so to maintain the adequacy. They always communicate the plan in action, either verbally or in sign language, to ensure the patients are on the same page as them. They understand that it’s crucial to take the disabled patients as critical as any other patient with no physical restrictions.
- Asking Before Assisting with Mobility
Many nurses have to treat and supervise patients with mobility impairment which can be pretty challenging at times. The need to assist or help them move around comes as an intuition. Still, it is essential to always ask their permission before assuming that they need help. Patients seem to have a deeper and more meaningful connection with their nurses than their doctors or physicians. It makes it even more critical that nurses realize the importance of considering their patient’s will before instinctually helping them out.
Asking the patient if they want your assistance is the primary step, and it is not offensive if they decline on their free will. It may even mean that they prefer to work for themselves and help themselves with their impairment. Because, for many patients with impaired mobility, it is essential to retain their independence and self-dependency. They find it uncomfortable to rely on others heavily without necessity. In such a situation, an assumption made by their nurse that they need help could turn into a defensive provocation leading to a negative attitude. If they decline your offer to help with dignity, accept it and respect their boundaries.
- Guiding Parents of Physically Challenged Children
Parents often need more guidance about their physically challenged children than they let on. One of the most significant reasons behind the formation of mental illnesses in disabled individuals is negligence from their family members or closest family members. Nurses can be educators to the relatives of physically challenged children because they have specific knowledge about their patients’ needs and requirements through years of clinical experience and education. They can guide the parent in getting early treatment to improve their child’s condition and prevent further damage. They can also tell them when they’re putting too much pressure on their children with mobility impairment to be physically more active.
They can guide them towards the proper use of physiotherapy with the help of which they could correct the deformities of their child. In addition, they could help the children and their parents with the correct use of prosthetics, such as artificial limbs or hearing aid. It is very challenging to get used to these assistive devices for both the patients and their guardians. However, nurses can be of great assistance in explaining the proper use of these prosthetics and how to care for them. They can inform the patients and their parents about the pros and cons of these devices. And help to make their experience more satisfactory.
Nurses have to be mindful of the unapparent disabilities of their physically challenged patients also. Such impairments often lead to severe psychological impacts, which could make it challenging to deal with them. But as the healthcare sector progresses, nurses focus on providing holistic treatment, which makes them responsible for considering their patient’s physical and mental health. Hence, nurses must play their role effectively by advocating for the patients and respecting their limitations.