Hi Sandy--Thank you so much for the suggestions! She should be able to comb her own hair, and it would be best in more ways than what you mentioned. Unfortunately, I am no good at braiding, but there will be 8 of us on the floor tomorrow--if she wants it braided, I bet someone can do it!
Keep in mind that I haven't even met her yet. Tomorrow will be my first and only day with her (and just a half day, at that). My buddy (who will be with her in the afternoon) and I are just trying to find some things to do with her and for her. From what we found, she's not really interacting with anyone and her family isn't around much. Our goal tomorrow is to get her to engage in conversation and hopefully to see her smile. She's doing pretty well physically right now, but her mental/emotional state is shaky.
Being a student is sometimes scary, but the beauty of it is that we get to do more things/spend more time with our patient. At least, that's the way it is right now while we only have 1 patient in this rotation.
Thanks everyone for your help!
Quote from lexcourben
It's great that you're taking the initiative in helping your patient with her personal care.
Just a couple of more things that might help. If possible you might want to let her comb through as much of it as she can if she's physically able to just because it's easier to comb through your own hair than to have someone else do. (I used to hate it when my mother combed my hair especially if she was mad or in a hurry or both YIKES!!!) The other thing you might want to suggest to her is that you braid it up since that can be a neater and easier style to maintain.
Also, African-American hair needs to be moisturized on a pretty regular basis so if she or you has access (from family maybe) to any hair oil that will also make it easier to comb and maintain.
Hope that helps.