Patient Care and PTSD Cases

Nurses looking to get traction in the occupational workplace should be vigilant protecting the rights, privacy, and quality of care given when a PTSD situation arises. Patient care can include special cases, patients whose fears and experiences have traumatized them. These patients come from domestic situations, armed services experiences, violence and sexual assaults, where PTSD clouds the victim’s thoughts with shame, doubt, and a negative spiral of blame and inertia.

A professional nurse should tread carefully and follow the charted behavioral interventions and therapeutic approaches to the letter. Some patients who have genuine elements of PTSD in their makeup may have yet to be diagnosed. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a  condition whereby certain other conditions may be affected, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, depression, and more. Nursing practice for such (PTSD) patients includes maintaining a calm, relaxing environment where pain and anxiety are reduced in every way possible.

Disorders like PTSD come from traumatic incidents in the patient’s past, and may be unknowingly triggered without sincere and through querying of the patient’s social profile. A nurse can request a referral from the primary care physician for a psych referral. Any nurse should be careful not to disclose any specific medical information to observers or passersby. This is a HIPPA violation. Nurses should re-orient the PTSD patient (when acting out or presenting symptoms) back to their room and make the assessment in a private setting.

Document carefully any interactions with the patient that cause you concern. Make sure that you follow the best nursing practices when a PTSD incident occurs. When dealing with a patient who is confused, lost, or suddenly bewildered by where they are, or if they forget what they are doing, be prepared. If the PTSD patient shows exaggerated reaction to noise, other patient’s conversation, amplified reaction to nearby distractions, and has poor tolerance to exterior sounds, check with the charge nurse for further instructions. .

The physician’s instructions for treatment should include necessary approaches for environmental comfort. Refer to the patient’s medical chart and care plan for instructions and advice. Patients’ response to their intake survey should indicate what likes and dislikes they will respond to and against. PTSD patients must avoid trigger incidents or scenarios to avoid recurring attacks of anxiety and panic attack crisis.

These behavioral afflictions are defensive disorders the human psyche concocts to shield a person from environmental/mental pain or abuse. This patient will be wary, vigilant, and acutely (and sometimes aggressively) combative against unknown situations. Often sufferers of PTSD are extremely vocal. Nurses can utilize this feature of the patient profile to engage them out of a negative spiral. Redirect the mental focus of the PTSD patient onto a pleasant matter or other topic, such as movies or books, poetry or sports. Avoid discussions of politics or crime.

PTSD is a misunderstood disease which many old-school nurses may scoff at or otherwise fail to evaluate a patient for. Nurses should tread carefully with diagnosed PTSD sufferers and use exceptional patient courtesies to make sure such patients feel insulated from their triggering episodes. PTSD should never be made to feel threatened or stressed. This constitutes patient abuse. Nursing or facility staff who persist in creating tense or uncomfortable incidents, or provoke the patient should be reported both directly to management and reported anonymously to the State Nursing Board or the LVN/Psychiatric Nursing Association.

Incidents which recur in the PTSD patient’s life are the situations with sounds, odors, or persons who spark the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are responsible for triggering painful situations and outsize scenes within the patient’s room, ward, or floor. Nurses and nursing aides of such patients should make sure all patient needs are addressed during each shift. Lab technicians or phlebotomists new to the patient should be escorted by familiar staff. In this way, proper nursing patient care makes certain that the accidental triggers of a particular trauma do not become re-created and take the patient by surprise.

   PTSD patients rely on skilled nursing staff for optimum recovery outcomes. And more educated consumers will know the difference between incompetent nurses and those who just choose to disregard noted interventions.

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