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Being Independent

Patients want to be as independent as possible. They may need restorative care. There are two main goals of restorative care. The first goal is to preserve the patient’s current abilities. The second goal is to prevent a decline in health. Nurse assistants usually spend a lot of time with their patients. For this reason, they play an important role in providing restorative care.

A nurse assistant can help patients practice new ways of doing things. For example, a patient is learning how to use a walker with the help of a physical therapist. The therapist might work with the patient for only a few hours each week. However, the nurse assistant can reinforce using the walker daily by helping the patient to practice. This practice would help the patient preserve his ability to walk independently.

Noticing even small details is important. This is especially true when helping a patient practice a new skill. First, measure progress and track results. Think again of the patient using the walker. The nurse assistant can measure how far the patient walks each day. Second, pay attention to how much effort the patient seems to be showing. Write down if he shows signs of sweating or heavy breathing.

Celebrating small successes is also important. When a patient is learning a new skill or working toward a goal, nurse assistants can say something like, “You walked five more steps today than yesterday.” This encouragement can motivate a patient to keep trying.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners