Anytime a medical professional recommends a procedure to a patient, it’s important to thoroughly equip the patient for the experience. Even a relatively low-risk procedure, like a fluoroscopy, can intimidate patients if they know nothing about it. Put your patients at ease by understanding how to prepare patients for fluoroscopy and educating them prior to the procedure.
Help Them Understand Fluoroscopy and Its Uses
It’s unlikely that your average patient has heard of fluoroscopy, and even if they have, they probably don’t understand it fully. At its core, fluoroscopy is just a type of x-ray examination used to diagnose a disease or assist doctors during a delicate internal procedure such as the placement of a cardiac stent. There are several ways that fluoroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat patients—explain to your patient the specific reason why you’ve recommended the procedure for them.
Familiarize Them With the Procedure
Once you’ve educated your patient on the basics of fluoroscopy, familiarize them with the specific procedure they’ll undergo. Explain to them the basics of how fluoroscopy is performed, which part of their body it will be performed on, and how long they can expect the procedure to take. Depending on the type of fluoroscopy, patients may need to consume a contrast substance or have it injected into the body via IV—inform your patient of these specifics and explain to them how the contrast substance will be helpful during the fluoroscopy.
Because fluoroscopy is an x-ray procedure, patients will also need to be prepared to change into a hospital gown or scrubs and remove all metal items prior to the procedure. After you’ve explained the fluoroscopy to them, allow some time for your patients to ask any questions or express their concerns.
Thoroughly Explain Any Preparation Steps
Before a patient even arrives at the hospital, there are some essential preparation steps they must take to ensure the success of the examination or procedure. Preparation steps will vary based on the type of fluoroscopy, but generally, if the fluoroscopy is of any part of the digestive system or kidneys, patients should be instructed to avoid eating or drinking anything besides water after midnight prior to the exam. In some cases, patients will need to avoid certain types of food for several days before the exam. Inform your patients of these specifics so they can prepare adequately. You should also ensure that your patient is not pregnant or allergic to any of the substances used during the exam.
One of the most important roles of medical staff is patient education, which is one reason why knowing how to prepare patients for fluoroscopy is so essential. When you take the time to properly educate your patients on fluoroscopy, it’ll help them to feel less apprehensive about their procedures and have a positive experience.