Only $35.99/year

Terms in this set (129)

Humor is a coping strategy that adds perspective and helps you and the patient adjust to stress.
The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor defines therapeutic humor as "any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life's situations."
Laughter is a diversion from stress-related tension.
It provides a sense of well-being and more of a feeling of control or mastery.
Humor helps provide emotional support to patients and humanizes the illness experience.
Laughter provides both a psychological and physical release for you and the patient; promotes open, relaxed interaction; and illustrates our shared experience in being human.
You assess whether humor is appropriate by noticing if patients use humor in their conversations.
Start with small doses to see if this is helpful. To offer positive humor, share humorous incidents or situations, offer a clown nose to someone who could use a laugh, or share puns or simple jokes that are not offensive. Positive humor is associated with hope, love, and joy with the intent to bring people closer. Avoid negative humor, which is inappropriate. Ethnic, religious, sexist, ageist, or put-down humor creates distance.
Realize that humor sometimes backfires; not everyone will appreciate a humorous approach because of negative moods, stress, or physical discomfort.
Humor is often a signal for closer attention. When a patient preparing for surgery quips, "Well, I won't die from it," gently explore concerns of the patient.
Sometimes health care providers use dark, negative humor after difficult or traumatic situations to survive a situation intact and to relieve tension and stress.
This "coping humor" may seem callous or uncaring by those not involved in the situation.
Avoid using "coping humor" within earshot of patients or their loved ones.
Understand that humor is a release, but timing, content, and receptivity are important in the use of therapeutic humor.
Is one of the nurse's most potent forms of communication.
Nurses are privileged to experience more of this intimate form of personal contact than almost any other professional.
Touch conveys many messages, such as affection, emotional support, encouragement, and personal attention.
Comfort touch, such as holding a hand, is important for vulnerable patients who are experiencing severe illness with its accompanying physical and emotional losses.
(Example: A nurse rubbed a patient's shoulders to soothe and comfort her.)
The nurse enjoyed providing this comfort and savored this moment of caring connection. She valued this as part of the art of nursing, which is sometimes left out due to the emphasis on the high-tech nature of our work.
Sometimes touch is misinterpreted.
Always be sensitive to the patient's response to touch.
(Examples of inappropriate and appropriate use of touch:
Inappropriate touch: In a cancer support group, the wife of a patient had her arms wrapped around herself as if she were "holding herself together." The nurse moved too quickly and tried to hug the wife without permission. The wife backed off and struggled to hold back tears.
Appropriate touch: The nurse says, "I see you are distressed. Would a hug help?" The woman is then free to decline this well-intended act that might trigger tears that would embarrass this very private person.)
Another concern is the confusion about the use of touch with culturally diverse patients. Some risk is involved.
You must look for cues that a patient would welcome touch.
We use touch to awaken patients, to get their attention, or to add emphasis to explanations. Touch may also convey understanding better than words or gestures.
Therapeutic touch is a special form of alternative touch therapy used by specially educated nurses for health assessment, pain reduction, and relaxation by influencing a patient's body energy fields.
In therapeutic touch, specially educated nurses pass their hands over the body without actually touching to balance the energy fields and provide an environment for optimal health.
(Examples of special needs patients: hearing and visually impaired, persons suffering from a stroke or late-stage Alzheimer's disease, and persons with autism or schizophrenia who respond to internal stimuli and misinterpret external stimuli.)
The person who does not speak or understand English and the patient with learning disabilities and limited vocal skills will challenge you to accommodate their special needs.
In addition, unresponsive or heavily sedated patients are sometimes unable to send or receive verbal messages.
The patient who cannot communicate effectively has difficulty expressing needs and responding appropriately to the environment and requires special thought and sensitivity.
Such persons benefit greatly when you adapt communication techniques to their circumstances.
When caring for a patient with impaired verbal communication related to a language barrier, you may provide a table of simple words in the patient's language.
The patient's use of the table will meet the expected outcome of the patient communicating basic needs such as food, water, toileting, rest, and pain relief. Collaborate with team members to design the best communication strategies.
Good communication improves the quality of your patient's interpersonal relationships and well-being.
If the patient uses ineffective communication techniques that interfere with coping or interpersonal relationships, intervene to help your patient send, receive, and interpret messages more effectively.
Be a communication role model and teacher to help patients express needs, feelings, and concerns.
Help patients develop social interaction skills and communicate thoughts and feelings clearly.
This will help them interpret messages sent from others, increasing their autonomy and assertiveness.