Monday, May 7, 2012


There may be times when you have to use adult diapers on your patient.  This is very disturbing to your patient, so be careful how you approach the subject, as it can have adverse psychological effects.  Before you resort to adult diapers, it may be wise to try bringing the bedpan to the patient at regular times each day, with the hope that it will train them to void at regular intervals.  About every two hours would be a good starting point.  This may help the patient accept his incontinence and work with you to avoid accidents.  The effect on his morale could be favorable.  No one likes to be embarrassed with incontinence.
     Check with your druggist for the adult diapers.  There are a variety of them on the market today.
Help your patients hold on to their dignity.
It may be all they have left.
     Medications have so many side effects.  It is important that you understand the medications given to your patient.  Knowing, how the medicine effects the body is important when you are watching for symptoms in your patient.  If you understand the side effects that each medication has, it is easier to catch problems before they begin.
     My mother-in-law had problems with overdosing on some of her medications.  She didn’t go to the doctor on a regular basis, so it was difficult for him to check the levels of her different medications in her blood.
     We often wonder why the doctor needs to take so much blood, but it is to check the chemical balance in the blood.  Complete blood analysis is important to the doctor, so that he can adjust medications to keep the proper balance in the body.
     For instance, he looks at the potassium level in the blood.  Potassium is an important electrolyte in the body, which regulates nerve heart and muscle function.  It comes from the food we eat; fruit, vegetables, meat, milk and coffee.  If the potassium level is too high, the heart slows and occasionally patients may pass out.  Prior to this, you will notice a sudden loss of strength in the legs and body.  If potassium is too low it may cause weakness, irregular heartbeat, confusion and irritability.
     The doctor will also look at the sodium content of the blood.  Sodium is another electrolyte.  It regulates body fluid levels.  If you use too much sodium in your diet, you will drink a lot of water and you will retain fluid in your tissues.  People with heart conditions must watch their intake of sodium so they don’t retain too much fluid and put a strain on their heart.  If your patient has a heart condition, watch their ankles for any swelling or rapid weight gain.  That may be a sign that they are retaining too much fluid.  You should question this condition with your doctor.  The doctor may increase your patients diuretic.

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