5 tips for healthcare assistants when advising patients on preparing for surgery

Healthcare Assistants are having increasingly crucial roles when it comes to direct patient care for surgical procedures. You’re there to provide support and advice at times when patients can feel most vulnerable and worried about their treatment. Your role is pivotal in providing reassurance to patients that they are in safe hands and there’s no need to be nervous.

At the same time, you’ll be well aware that it’s important you don’t provide patients with incorrect information or false hope during their procedure. Patients may come to you for additional advice after a consultation or feel as though they’ve misheard a piece of information that might be important. If for any reason you’re unsure, it’s better to seek information from someone who has the knowledge as any advice that you give can be influential in the results of the surgery. 

Whenever you’re in a situation where patients come to you for advice before surgery, be sure to follow these steps that can help both you and the patient in question.

Provide thorough explanations

Patients can always feel reassured when they’re receiving advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about. By having the required knowledge related to their question, answering in a detailed manner can raise their morale and help them to feel less concerned about the surgery. This is because they know they’re being informed about any worries they had and the answers are coming from someone that they can trust. 

You can also do an extra bit from your side when answering the patients’ questions. Try to elaborate on points that you’re making. For example, when a patient is informed about what to eat before their surgery, it may be beneficial to inform them why this may be beneficial to their health. Go into further details about healthy eating and what it can do for them both before and after surgery so they feel more encouraged to follow the steps.

Calm the patient’s nerves where you can

Being nervous before surgery is a natural reflex for most patients. Family can also contribute to a patient feeling nervous, so it’s important that you can calm them down where you can. At every given opportunity where the patient may appear anxious, reassure them that they’re in good hands. There will be qualifications that the practice and surgeon would have directly obtained, so remind them they’re in the best possible practice to conduct their surgery. It may also be helpful to remind the patient about the experience the team has when it comes to surgical procedures.

It’s normal for them to feel nervous about the complications that can occur with surgery, but the patient should be well aware of this during their consultation. Just provide them with the relevant support when you feel it’s needed or when the patient is showing signs of anxiety.

Get the family involved too

As mentioned in the previous tip, families can feel the nerves too. Sometimes, it can be helpful to advise the people around the patients to help calm their nerves. Family members are likely to attend appointments and consultations with patients as added support. During these times, take the opportunity to provide guidance to family members as well as patients on the best steps to take to avoid complications.

The support that patients can gain from their family members can be just as important as the advice they receive from the medical professionals, particularly in the majority of situations where the patient will need to stay at home to aid their recovery. If there are any tips you can provide to caring family members, be sure to share them so everyone can do their bit to help the patient in question.

Prepare a checklist

Going through surgery can be an extremely overwhelming experience for a patient. This can cause a patient to be forgetful about the procedure and tend to neglect any actions they need to do before, during and after the surgery. With this being the case, preparing a checklist for the patient can be useful for them to keep a hold of in preparation for the surgery.

It can be a gentle reminder to them about what they need to do and it can prevent any complications with the surgery, helping their anxiety in the process and making the surgery easier to conduct. In providing these guidelines, you can be reassured that you’ve done your bit to help protect and support your patient. 

Provide support with recovery 

Aftercare is an extremely important step in the surgery process. However, patients tend to underestimate this period of the surgery and try to rush back as quickly as possible. This is where your advice can be helpful. This is because different surgeries have different recovery stages and each one will need alternative requirements in order for the patient to get back to their full recovery.

Recovering from a tummy tuck can be completely different to recovering from a breast reduction surgery. Patients need to be considerate during this period to enable full recovery and ensure they receive the results that they were expecting. Taking them through the steps and providing them with the reasons why they need to be patient can help them to achieve this. 

Final thoughts

Providing the correct advice for patients can be crucial in easing their nerves and ensuring the process goes smoothly. They’ll look to you for reassurance and knowledge that they’re in the right hands and they’ll be safe throughout the procedure. This is where your knowledge and training will be crucial. It’s likely the patient will ask you many questions about their concerns. Guide them from beginning to the end of the surgery process and they are sure to feel more comfortable when it comes to the surgery itself.

Natalie Wilson
Natalie Wilson
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer and avid decorator and interior designer. She loves discovering home renovation blogs and Instagram accounts and spending her free time shopping. She aims to buy her own home in the next year and begin her very own renovation project! You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.
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