Quote from LeahC18
Today, I was doing surgery prep for an 18 year old girl was supposed to be having a cyst removed from her neck. She was really scared, so I did my best to comfort her and I explained what I was doing as I went and what would happen once she was asleep. Right before I inserted her IV, she passed out, so her surgery was rescheduled.
Patients never seem to respond to my attempts at relaxing them. I have always struggled when helping patients overcome their fears before and during procedures, and I'm hoping you might have some advice about what to say to them. Thanks.
. Sometimes being matter-of-fact is effective. Projecting confidence in yourself is also important, even if you don't always feel that way.
By "matter-of-fact" I mean acknowledging Pt fears, but don't dwell on them. "Yes, there is some risk with this or any surgery, but Dr. So and So is very good (assuming that's true) and there is a full, trained team in the OR that will be watching you the entire time, so if anything out of the ordinary does happen, they can react instantly."
Distraction, as another poster mentioned, is helpful too. As is focusing on the positive results of successful surgery.
Pay attention to what the Pt sees and hears around the bed. Back in nursing school, I watched a C-Section on an LPN/mom. She knew what was going to happen, but got very anxious prior to the surgery. The VS monitor was in her view, and she could see her HR increasing, which made her more anxious, leading to an even higher HR. Someone noticed, and simply turned the monitor away from her in a natural way, and that broke the chain. You could see her relax. And, everything worked out beautifully.