Being a caregiver takes passion. It takes having a large amount of sympathy and empathy for your patients, and this is especially imperative when working with people who are suffering from excruciating pain. Fortunately, with a bit of research, you can learn tips for helping your patients. Below you will find a helpful guide full of tips and advice for working with patients who deal with pain.
Listen to Your Patients
The most important thing you can do to help your patients with pain is to listen to them. Those living with the pain often refer to their lives as emotional roller-coasters. One minute they are perfectly fine, and the next they are dealing with pain that is almost unbearable. Many patients believe they will have to go the rest of their lives with the pain, but the truth is, by listening to them, you can help alleviate the pain.
The more you listen to your patients, the more they will feel as if they are cared about. And studies have shown that the better emotional health a person maintains, the less pain they will endure. Your patients should feel comfortable in asking you for help and it all starts with lending a listening ear.
Mental Tricks for Reducing Pain
There are also several mental tips that you can provide patients with that are believed to help reduce chronic pain. Janice M. Singles, Psy.D., says “Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis can learn mind-body techniques to assist the body and mind in relaxing; this generally reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, allowing the immune system to be better able to fight off illness.” With this in mind, you should learn all you can about these techniques and help your patients practice them.
And did you know that meditation is believed to be one of the most helpful antidotes for pain? A study performed in 2011 discovered when patients perform mindfulness meditation, they are able to relieve the intensity of their pain by anywhere from 11 to 70 percent. More so, they can reduce pain unpleasantness by up to 93 percent by simply applying a heat probe to their calves during meditation.
Take Time to Learn
Another tip you can follow to help your patients with chronic pain is to study the conditions they suffer from. Just the same as physicians study the diseases they treat, you need to study the issues your patients are dealing with. The more you know, the more you can help. Not only will you discover the best ways to help alleviate their physical pain, but you can also learn how to lessen their emotional stress, and as we pointed out before, the better emotional health your patients sustain, the less pain they will endure. The best way to learn about the conditions your patients are suffering from is to conduct as much as research as you can.
Don’t Ever Question the Pain
Never should you question the pain that a patient states he or she is feeling. Yes, it can be difficult and frustrating working with patients who are enduring the pain, and there is a good chance that at least one of your patients is probably over-exaggerating the level of pain they are feeling, but this is not for you to judge. If you question the pain your patients are going through, this can be detrimental to the relationships you have with them. Patients should feel comfortable with their caregivers and they should be able to trust that you aren’t going to question the pain they say they are going through.
Maintain a Pain Management Log
One of the best ways to manage pain is to start logging it. With a pain management log, you can track the pain of your patients, which is crucial in being able to provide details to their physicians. More importantly, this pain management log can be used by physicians to prescribe treatment regimens. Important aspects to include in the log include:
· Where the pain is located
· How severe the pain is
· How long it lasts
· When it takes place
The more detailed the log is, the better. The more information a doctor has, the better diagnoses he can provide, therefore meaning the better treatments he can prescribe.
Helping your patients with pain starts with lending a listening ear. And most importantly, it involves researching their conditions and keeping a log to help physicians make accurate diagnoses.