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Non verbal Pt how to communicate?

Nurses   (1,579 Views 9 Comments)
by kwagner_51 kwagner_51 (Member)

kwagner_51 specializes in Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health.

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I am looking into communications boards for my patient's family. She can move her left arm and her thumb. She can open and close her left hand but I don't know if she can point with her index finger.

Does anyone have any recommendations? She can't verbalize at all, but I know she could if given the right equipment. Do the boards use letters or pictures or both?

Thanks!!

_________________________________-

In His Grace,

Karen RN

Failure is NOT an option!!

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kwagner_51 specializes in Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health.

592 Posts; 9,149 Profile Views

Do you know where to buy one? How expensive are they?

Thanks!!

____________________________________

In His Grace,

Karen RN

Failure is NOT an option!!

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There are many different types of communication boards. Do you have a rehab dept? They might have some resources you could tap. I have one patient that is unable to verbalize or make meaningful gestures. She does have facial expressions and is able to give direction with her eyes... it's hard to describe, but being with her for several years, we can kindof read her. Everyone is different. I hope you're able to work something out.

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kwagner_51 specializes in Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health.

592 Posts; 9,149 Profile Views

Thanks! I work in Home Health so don't have access to a rehab unit. I thought that if I could make one or present a cheap one to her sister, we could communicate. She communicates now to yes/no questions using her left thumb. I caught her trying to trick me the other day. When I figurd it out, she laughed. Right now I use picture cards and ask her to pick one of them. For example, I hold up a pic of boots and a car and ask her to pick the car.

I think it is boring for her and me. She actually listens to what I'm saying rather than looking at the cards.

If I could figure out how to make the pictures into a sentence then we would be able to "talk".

Thanks again!

_______________________________________

In His Grace,

Karen RN

Failure is NOT an option!!

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

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Since your patient is getting skilled nursing, inform pt's case manager that you feel communication is unmet need. ST or OT eval should be provided to assist nurses in developing effective communication care plan to be left in the home.

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

5 Followers; 10 Articles; 14,531 Posts; 160,406 Profile Views

examples devices:

boards:

mayer-johnson stickers $19

save time and money creating personalized communication boards with these color 3/4" pcs stickers

medical buddy boards

non-verbal communication aids - communication boards & illustrated ...

devices:

tablet and handheld speech devices (gus)

websites:

http://mayer-johnson.com/

http:// assistivetech.com

http://www.concommtech.com

http://www.abilityhub.com/

http://www.augresources.com/

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dria has 10 years experience and specializes in home health, peds, case management.

246 Posts; 5,425 Profile Views

i agree with karen...a st/ot eval is in order...there are several different methods of communication that could be used.

i don't understand the point of showing different picture cards and asking her to "pick the car"...obviously, she is demonstrating her ability to distinguish between the two, but how is that helping her to communicate? am i misunderstanding something?

one thing that we did for one of my former nonverbal hh clients that would likely work for yours is to make a list of her most frequent requests...you can then slowly name each item on the list, and she can then "tell" you when you get to the correct one by moving her thumb. for more free form communication, you can also go thru the alphabet letter by letter, with her again indicating which letter she wants you to stop on. it sounds excruciating, but so is the inability to communicate! i have oversimplified this method, however, and experienced st/ot will be able to "fill in the blanks" or choose a more appropriate method.

depending on her physical ablilities, a combined picture/letter board may work, as may a touch screen assistive device, or a switch operated system. i cannot stress enough how important it is to get st/ot involved.

kudos to you for helping your client break her silence!!!!!!

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