When a worker becomes ill or has a workplace accident, one of the major factors, aside from getting the medical claim benefits approved, is evaluating the environment the worker lives and works in. First, the recovering worker must have access to healthy food that aids the recovery process faster and better.
Second, the worker must have a positive and caring social environment supporting the recovery process. In healthcare, this is known as the Optimal Healing Environment (OHE). Each patient has his or her own set of individual needs that are uncovered during the medical interview process that determines what support is available to the patient for the recovery process.
This is a conversation that the doctor and nurses can have with the family to determine how each family member can help with the patient’s recovery, without having the process fall to just one person. The objective is to help the patient be in a positive situation where help is always available from multiple people at different times during the day.
In severe cases where a patient is unable to move around very well and requires a wheelchair, one family member can take on the responsibility of getting the patient out of bed in the morning. This includes assisting the patient to the bathroom, then getting the patient dressed and ready for breakfast.
Another family member can take over with getting the patient to bed at night and ensuring that there is available water or other drinks, including snacks, set close by the patient should those be needed during the night. If there is an emergency during the night, a system can be arranged for contacting a family member for help, such as the cell phone or a walkie-talkie, set loud enough to wake up the designated helper for that night.
Should a patient have a medical emergency during the night, then the supervising doctor should be called after 911 is called to get the patient to the hospital. Even if the doctor cannot get to the hospital, he or she can connect with the emergency room to provide information to the ER medical staff on the patient’s status and what they should know to treat the patient effectively. That information may include any injuries or illnesses the patient is dealing with, and what medications are currently being taken that the doctor prescribed.
If a patient is in a wheelchair, the patient can be given suitable exercises to maintain strength in those areas not currently affected by the illness or injury. When a patient has recovered to a reasonable level, exercising the injured part of the body, such as a leg or foot, can be started, once the doctor states so. Specific physical therapy may be prescribed as part of the recovery, which means getting the patient to the supervising therapist several times a week.
Social entertainment is also important and can be as simple as being at the dinner table, having discussions with family members, or inviting friends over for an evening of watching football games on the television. The combination of physical therapy and social engagement goes a long way in avoiding depression, more common among those without familial support.
Your supervising doctor or nurse can help patients with the resources needed for any part of the recovery process. Never be afraid to ask for help, whether it be a physical or emotional issue or a combination of both.
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim or have medical issues related to a workplace accident, call us at once for a consultation. (480) 300-7273.
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