Importance of Emotional Support
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is expected to take care of the patient in all aspects. They carry out their daily duties and responsibilities, such as feeding, bathing and grooming. But along with that, they are also responsible to provide mental and emotional support to their patient. This emotional support is mainly provided to those patients who are suffering from any mental disorder or personality disorder and emotional disabilities. The emotional and mental health may vary from patient to patient.
Patients suffering from major injuries or those patients who had fresh surgeries need emotional support along with extensive treatment. According to a research it is indicated that when a patients have friends and family directly involved with their care, it makes them feel comfortable and it helps them recover faster. Providing emotional and mental support also lies under the CNA code of ethics, so as a nursing assistant it is really important to put effort into the mental and emotional care of the patient. They play a vital role in the recovery of the patient as well.
Although providing quality physical health care to the patient is important, but a nursing assistant should also maintain a positive relationship with their patients. It is the responsibility of a CNA to provide emotional support while the doctor is focused in treating the patient physically.
Emotional care is something that is not physically visible, so it is required to use intuition regarding behavior and emotions of a patient and regular observation to ensure emotional health of the patient. Staying at a hospital or any healthcare environment can be intimidating and frightening.
It is the responsibility of a CNA to make them feel comfortable in these situations. Moreover, as a nursing assistant you should take some time to have a little chat with your patients who doesn’t have any friends or family or any other visitor, as you might be the only person that interacts with the patient.
To provide emotional support you have to treat your patients with kindness, respect and compassion. When needed; encouraging and offering support to the patient is also requested. Patients suffering from cancer, or those who just heard some bad news and do not have family or friends to support them will require you to provide emotional support and condolences. This may involve passing a smile, express gratitude or sorry, talking them through it or may be a word of congratulations when good news is given.
In order to provide emotional support to the patients, a CNA should always keep an eye on their patients. Many patients who are frustrated will often put you in the front line of their complaints and concerns that may be heightened when a patient is hospitalized. To truly provide emotional support you have to build a strong bond between you and your patient. In order to do that you have to act as a messenger between the patients and the staff and keep calm even if you are tired. Keeping yourself calm will definitely help lessen their anxieties and build trust between the patient and yourself.
Stick to your words when you say them and deliver as said. Always set boundaries for things that you cannot do. Sometimes it is better to refuse politely than to fulfill your promise.
Just like emotional support, mental health also varies from patient to patient. It is the responsibility of a CNA to pay close attention to determine any changes in the mental state of the patient. Mental disorder is often triggered due to some emotional symptom, like if a patient is recently told about his cancer and he gets really depressed due to the news that he stops eating, sleeping and thinks about his rest of the life so much that it hits his brain causing mental disorder which might also lead to more bigger problems. So we can say that metal and emotional needs are interlinked.
If at any time of the day a patient suffering from mental disorder grows tense, it is the job of a nursing assistant to look for any possible cause and resolve the problem. Keep in mind that most of the mental patient might also need emotional support to keep them from triggering their disorder.
As a CNA you should have some basic knowledge about the mental health field and how to face patients who require mental care. This will prove to very invaluable in guiding the patient. To properly understand the mental health patients, you should know about the common mental maladies and mental disorders and their symptoms and treatments.
Every patient requires mental as well emotional support at some time, and in some cases spiritual. None of them should be left ignored. If you are good in communication, you can build a strong relationship with your patient, which will help you notice if a patient is any other problem.