Although the concept of companion is only meant to accompany and care for the patient, it is clear that there is much more than that. By paying attention to some small details, the quality of both the hospital experience of the patient and the support provided by the companion during this process can be increased.
We have collected 8 things that a companion of patient should know and pay attention.
1.Keep informed Healthcare Professionals to be informed at every step
The most basic rule of being a good companion is to always be in contact with the doctors and nurses who take care of the patient. First of all, learn the names of the doctors and nurses. Then get detailed information about the procedures to be done, the medications that the patient will take, the issues that need attention and the situations that healthcare professionals should be warned about. Keep a notebook with you if needed and don’t be afraid to take notes. Of course, the hospital staff will meet all your needs during the patient’s hospitalization period, but since you are the person who will be with the patient for 24 hours, you can be more careful about things that others may not notice.
Patients may have different personal needs and problems before and after the surgery. Inform the healthcare personnel who is taking care of you about these problems.
2.Don’t be afraid to ask questions
The biggest mistake of a companion is to be afraid to ask questions. If you have any questions or do not understand about the processes explained by the healthcare personnel, do not hesitate to ask questions on these issues. If you have any question marks in your mind about a subject that you have been informed about before (for example, if you have been informed about the excersice need to be done while patient is in bed), you should definitely consult healthcare professionals.
There is a very good proverb in Turkish language.
“It is not a shame not to know, it is a shame not to ask.”
Ask your questions over and over again if necessary.
3.Know Your Location Well
Getting healthcare in a different city or country can be daunting for many people. Therefore, it is very important to have as much information as possible. Especially, it will be very beneficial for the companions to make a preliminary research on the location of the hospital and the facilities around it.
At the same time, some hospitals have highly advanced facilities as well in Turkey. Be sure to get information about this opportunities. For additional information you can visit the websites of the hospitals. In addition, different hospitals may have different rules for companion of patient. Don’t forget to review these rules.
4.Listen to the Patient
This is an important point that many companions of patient forget. Often due to too much focus on the doctor’s information and the effort to provide the best care to the patient, companions may forget to listen to their patients. For example, your patient complains of unusual pain and you have consulted your doctor about it. He also stated that this situation may be OK. If your patient continues to complain about this pain, do not ignore his words. Do not hesitate to ask questions as we mentioned at the beginning of the article! Make sure to convey your patient’s complaints to healthcare professionals.
Being a companion is not always an easy task. Depending on the needs of the patient, sometimes companion takes too many responsibilities. As a companion, try to create opportunities for yourself to rest so you can keep your energy and attention high. Make sure to rest while your patient is asleep or on the procedure (for example, under supervision of healthcare nurse for an operation).
Remember! In order to meet the needs of your patient, you must first be energetic and healthy.
6.Check the Hospital Bag
We have listed the things that should be in the inpatient’s hospital bag in another article. (11 Things That Inpatients Should Have in their Hospital Bag) As a companion, be sure to check the hospital bag. If there is any missing in the bag, please add them. You will have similar needs during your stay in the hospital as a companion. Don’t forget to pack a bag for yourself.
7.Think Positive and Take a Positive Approach
Patient psychology can be quite fragile. Therefore, a good companion is not only obliged to meet the physical needs of the patient. At the same time, the patient should be able to control the changeable and fragile mood of patient well. You need to be ready to support the patient in sensitive moments and focus him / her on positive thoughts. You need to observe not only the mental changes of the patient but also the physical needs of the patient and act accordingly. Hospitals can become mentally challenging places not only for patients, but also for companions. Therefore, you should not get your focus away from positive thoughts.
8.Don’t forget to breathe
When you are overwhelmed, you can leave the place for a while and calm yourself.
9.Investigate Services Provided by Hospital for Companions
Many hospitals in Turkey provides various services to meet the needs of patient’s companion. Be sure to get information about these services before the patient goes to the hospital. You can plan according to the services provided by the hospital to the patient’s companion.