Supporting patients/clients through diagnosis, treatment, and brain injury recovery is an integral part of effective, conscious care. They will have a lot of questions about brain injury and its effects on their life, and you will be one of the people they turn to for answers. While their questions may not lie in your specialty or may not be medical-focused, you can still offer support through conversation and resources. Here are some resources that you can use to help your patients/clients.
- Communication & accessibility
Health literacy is the language spoken by health care providers. They are tasked with having to maneuver quickly between what seems to be two different languages. The medical terminology represented in communications with other medical professionals and medical charts and files, and the use of plain language used to translate this medical information to the patient and their families.
- Cultural intelligence
Canada is home to a variety of beliefs, religions, and values. As such, this can impact how a person interacts with the medical sector. Understanding cultural implications to treatment and demonstrating cultural intelligence is valuable in supporting patients/clients.
- Encouraging social interaction in isolation
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic threw a light on the challenges of isolation and social engagement. But for many brain injury survivors, isolation is a norm. If any of your patients/clients are experiencing isolation (or increased isolation due to the pandemic), encourage them to embrace virtual connections.
- Health habits
Encouraging patients/clients to maintain or develop healthy habits is an important part of offering support. Make sure they understand the impacts that nutrition and sleep can have on the mind and body, and that there are specialists that can help them.
- Person-centred care
Person-centred care is defined as valuing a patient as a person with unique needs. PCC is understanding the patient's experience and working with them to ensure their care plan is reflective of these individual needs. This includes establishing coordinated care and proper communication. In PCC, patients are encouraged to be involved in their own care and be in partnership with their healthcare team.
- When nothing seems to be working
In some cases, it may seem to the patient/client that nothing is working for them. Brain injury is complex, frustrating, and long-term. It's normal for them to experience obstacles similar to this. Supporting them through this plateau can help both the person and you as you continue to treat them.
- Managing conflict with families and caregivers
After a brain injury, the road to recovery can be challenging and filled with emotions. Caregivers are faced with additional stress, anxiety and depression . Families and caregivers may be overwhelmed with the circumstances. There may be situations where they become agitated or even argumentative with the health care providers or clinicians.