Patient Care: Physical Activity

Written by on January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

019342198_Female medical professional with stethoscopeThe human body is not made to be still for an extended length of time. Without physical activity you patient’s bones may become increasingly fragile. Whether your patients can get out of their bed or not, their bodies require daily exercise. The benefits of daily exercise includes: improved ability to perform physical activity, aids patients control their weight, reduces your patients risk of high blood sugar and diabetes, increased bone strength which may reduce the chance of debilitating falls. In addition, exercise increases endorphins which reduce anxiety and depression.

As a Certified Patient Care Technician you need to encourage your patients to be as independent as possible. Encourage daily physical activity. If your patients do not exercise regularity they could begin to lose strength and in long term care situations, the capacity to maintain a healthy amount of daily activity.
When you patient is bed ridden you can help them achieve range of motion by encouraging or helping your patient gently turn their head from one side to the other and than gently backwards and forward. You should always move your patient’s fingers very slowly when helping them exercise there hands. Help your patient lift his or her leg up a little, bending the knee gently and slightly, than gently help your patient straighten their knee back out and gently put their leg back into a resting position. Some facilities are equipped with an electric passive exercise machine. You can attach your patient’s legs to the equipment while they are in bed and the machine provides the help moving the patient’s legs.

Your patient’s doctor will write in his or her chart how much daily activity they should have. A slow walk to the dinning room, day room or outside to the patio can greatly improve your patient’s mood. Volunteers often help with these activities and your patient might enjoy the extra time and conversation that a volunteer can give. A volunteer can help a patient who can’t walk far by taking them around in a wheel chair. This too will change the patient’s environment just enough to brighten their spirit.

Occupational therapy is available in most facilities and encourages your patients to use their hands while creating things like arts and crafts. Your patient will learn new things and will interact with a variety of people from the instructor to other patients.

Because human beings tend to be such social creatures, we value friends and family throughout most of our lifetime. You patient may or may not have friends or family who visit him or her regularly or at all. This lack of contact can cause loneliness, depression and withdrawal from daily activities. It is part of your job as a Certified Patient Care Technician to help your patient make social connections whenever possible. You yourself need to interact often with your patients and the benefit will be a happier more cooperative patient.

Heart disease and infectious disease can be associated with your patient’s depression, loneliness and isolation. Most patients who are lonely, depressed and withdrawn will lose his or her appetite, not be interested in physical activity or social events, and will lose interest in things they used to love. You need to encourage your patient to interact with staff and other patients in places like dinning rooms, common rooms, day-rooms, patios, etc.

Suggest friends and family members or even volunteers organize activities like: card or board games, religious or community outreach groups who will play concerts, musical instruments, have craft shows, song festivals, movies, plays, interesting topic lectures, and or holiday parties.

Your patient can often stay in touch with family and friends using the telephone provided in his or her room, cell phone and in some cases Skype on a lap top. You or a volunteer might need to assist your patient with finding a phone number or help with dialing if he or she has visual or movement impairment.

Postcards, decorative cards, holiday cards and stationary are wonderful tools to help you patient stay in touch with friends and family. You can assist your patient by asking their visitors to them bring pens, cards, stationary, envelopes, stamps, playing cards, games, movie, puzzles, etc.

If you should have two patients sitting together in silence, encourage them to talk by introducing them and starting the conversation. The key is socialization and construction activity that will relax your patient and speed his or her recovery.


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