A Post Diagnosis Care Plan Is Literally A Lifesaver!
Putting together a care plan is essential for everyone, but for a recently diagnosed MS patient, it can be, literally, a lifesaver. It is important to understand their wishes and desires while this is all fresh to them. If you didn’t do a care plan early on – then now’s the time to get started. Here are some tips and tricks to putting together a solid plan that, when needed, is ready to go.
Step One: (Assessing with the Patient)–
It is very important after a patient is diagnosed that they feel cared for. Your support and the effort you put in to help them today can pay huge dividends over the term of their illnes–s. Therefore, once diagnosed, it’s time to begin to set goals with the patient, find out what hobbies and interests they have in their down time, create safe areas so they can avoid any unnecessary injuries, and finally, discuss any other values they have close to their hearts. Make sure they can get everything off of their chests in order to have full confidence in the people taking care of them.
Step Two: (Creating Plans with the Patient)-
It is at this point that you should discuss with the patient what they can do to achieve any of their goals post diagnosis, who they want taking care of them when they revive to their full health, how often they will be monitored during the day, what daily tasks they would like to get done, how you can help them, and how much interaction they are comfortable having with others outside of the home. You never want a patient to feel uncomfortable, so take it upon yourself to provide for their specific wants and needs.
Step Three (Give the Patient Resources)-
At this stage you know what the diagnosed patient is comfortable with. Although, you must keep in mind what resources they want, and which ones will help them the most. Whether that is having a pet with them, a family member keeping their time occupied with a meal and conversation, video games and a television near their bedside, books on their desk so they can take their mind off of anything they are dealing with, or keeping a nurse with them for most of the day, make sure to be a provider in their easier and their harder times.
Step Four (Monitor the Patient)-
For this step you want to be sure to keep in a daily or weekly contact with the patient to see how their goals and progress are coming along. See if they ever need any additional resources, reduce their stress and calm them down if they are beginning to worry and lastly, be their companion until the end, no matter what that result may be. It will mean more to them that you were by their side throughout the whole progress.
Step Five (Keep a cheat sheet) –
This is probably the most important tip/trick of all. Make a list with the patient – or a “cheat sheet” – of all the medicines they are taking and the schedule for them, any interactions or allergies they may have, (and this includes everything from medicines to latex to foods), and make sure to keep track of the dosages for each. It is essential to keep a baseline of their typical stats, as well as a list of their preferred doctors and their contact info, the local pharmacy, and anything else that could relate to their care.
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