by Hannah Whittenly
There’s no doubt that having patients put their trust in you in a very big responsibility. In every step of the medical process, you pretty much have their life in your hands. One of the worst things that could happen is a patient experiencing some type of negative physical reaction, which might undoubtedly lead a patient to blame you. The following are just some tips that may help reduce the chances of this happening.
Preventing Allergic Reactions
One common negative reaction amongst patients is an allergic reaction. This usually happens due to miscommunication and failing to record negative allergic reactions. The best thing to do is to tighten up how you record negative drug reactions. This can be done by having your staff repeatedly check on every patient to make sure records are accurate.
You can download an algorithm software to help you match the patient with an allergy. This should be updated with every visit by your staff. The patient might get annoyed that you consistently asked about this information, but explain that this is done to increase safety.
Keep Patients Calm
We all know that going to a doctor’s office can sometimes be disconcerting for a patient, especially if he or she is receiving bad news. This is one reason why panic attacks amongst patients is common. The key is to break news in a way that is as reassuring as possible.
Some clinicians may need to go over the six step process they learned while training to break news as effectively as possible. First, you must set up a meeting in a private setting—such as an office or by closing the curtains. Be prepared to answer any questions, and it is important to be honest with the patient. Establish eye contact to let the patient feel like he or she is not alone. Of course, this is just one of the six steps.
Take Contamination Precautions
Contamination could lead to infections and further complications, so do your best to ensure that all equipment is properly disinfected. This is something that all assistants and associates must do as well.
Now, this is just one way to prevent contamination, but there are others. During surgery, for example, you should make sure to use a smoke evacuator tool that helps remove smoke that is produced from the other tools that are used. It not only prevents contamination but ensures highest visibility standards.
If your patient is going through something that is life-altering, then he or she has every right to be angry and upset. However, such feelings can lead to more than just tears; they can lead to physical reactions. Make sure that you’re always reading the body language of your patient. If they seem to be getting aggressive, step back and give them their space. Perhaps give them some time to cool down so that they can think things over. It may even be wise to have a psychologist come and help talk them through their feelings.
Whatever you do, it’s important to keep the patient from resorting into physical outbursts. These can be harmful to you, your staff, and your patient.
These are just a few suggestions that may help keep your patients safe. Keep in mind that the key to most of these is open dialogue and communication. In essence, try to put yourself in the patient’s shoes, and do your best to provide the kind of service that you would expect should you be a patient because that is how your patients want to be treated.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. For your smoke evacuator needs, Hannah recommends Megadyne.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.