Coping With Relatives, Patients and Clients With Medical Backgrounds. Part 1.

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Have you ever come across a patient/client with a medical background? Let’s say he/she’s a Physician, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist e.t.c. And as a Nurse, their care is your responsibility.
  At times, taking care of care givers poses it’s own unique challenges which if not approached or handled professionally, could cause a fracas. It takes quite different or say improved set of clinical skills to take care of patients/clients/relatives with medical backgrounds, not necessarily on-hand clinical skills, but mental skills and psychological skills.
  These category of patients are highly informed fellows, so they are likely to try telling you what to do, how to do and the big part, they are better positioned to spot your mistakes if you make any.
  One very vital skill which professional Nurses must posses is “communication”. Nurses must be able to relate well with those around them. Nurses with poor understanding of communication skills tend to find themselves in undesirable positions, quarrelling and fighting clients and colleagues.
Take note; professionalism is not determined by how many years one has spent in practice or the level of education, (academic or professional ), but it is determined by resolving in your heart to always give out best services no matter what.
  While taking care of these groups of persons, there are certain things you must consider. And the first on the list, which has been mentioned earlier, is communication. To successfully handle them, you must relate with them on good grounds. Smile and be confident. Let them know you know what you are doing.
You should try answering questions asked to the best of your knowledge (following hospital policies and ethics). Do not ignore them (as many Nurses always do), as this action might not always go down well with them, kindly and politely answer them.
If you make any mistake in their presence (it is best practice to care for patient in the absence of relatives, to avoid things like this), humbly apologise and explain your self to them if need be (in case of over dose, under dose or a missed medication, let them understand implications, if they do not understand).
The idea of going into argument frenzies with relatives or patients is un-ethical and immature. Always try to make peace with your patients and their relatives where possible. You must have good human relationship if you must succeed as a clinical nurse. Your. clinical skill and knowledge can come crashing down if you lack healthy human relationship.
You must understand the psychological state of everyone (client/patient/relative) you come in contact with in the process of rendering care. The Nurse is the closest to the client/patient and their relatives. And being the closest, they are the ones who are more exposed to all negative vices,  they have high vulnerability rates compared to other health professionals.
  So, the next time you find your self in this position, (which you will definitely do), of taking care of a client/patient/relative with medical backgrounds, always try to use the path of peace, love, professionalism and wisdom. And all these elements or items are expressed easily if you have well developed communication skills.
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