Observe the Following on Your Patient
Observation is a skill all health workers and caregivers need to master.
PLWHA or any other patient may react or get to a level where other underlying issues/signs of illness cause them to feel uneasy.
You have to take note of such signals. Here is what you should check on as a health provider:
Things to Observe on Your Patient.
i.) Power of Observation– Caregivers can prevent a lot of problems by being aware of some danger signs of illness.
As you bath the patient or perform other services, be aware of the following :-
- Mood– If he’s alert, sleepy, irritable, jumpy or withdrawn.
- Colour– Normal, yellowish, nails (bluish signaling no oxygen)
- Skin– Rashes, dry ulcers, blisters, sweaty or loose, clumpy (signs of shock).
- Body-Feverish cold, sweating.
- Breathing– Fast, slow, rough, wheezy.
Other things to watch :- Heartbeat– pulse.
NB: As a health worker, it is very important to know what is normal and what is not.
ii.) Nail care– A person’s hands can’t be clean until the nails are clean as well.
Keeping fingernails and tore nails neatly trimmed and clean should be the person’s part of everyday hygiene.
The caregiver can help if the person is not able to do it alone.
Objectives– To keep the nails clean in order to :-
- Reduce collection of germs.
- Prevent self-injury.
- Raise the patient’s morale.
iii.) Washing hair in bed– Like bathing, a person doesn’t stop the need of clean hair just because they can’t get out of bed.
Using precautions as those bed bath, the caregiver can wash the patient’s hair right in bed. This contributes to the person’s hygiene and wellbeing.
The objective is to maintain personal hygiene in order to keep the PLWHA healthy and maintain a well-being.
iv.) Turning the patient in bed– People sometimes become so ill they can’t also move themselves in bed. If this happens, the person is likely to develop pressure sores- caused by the skin breakdown because of constant pressure.
Pressure sores may form on bony parts of the body for example; elbows, buttocks, back, hips, feet and ankles. To prevent this, a PLWHA should be turned every 2 hours.
The main reason is to prevent the patient from developing pressure sores as a result of lying in the same position for so long.