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Improving care that we provide

Jen96

New member
Apr 2, 2021
4
0
Hello. First of all I would like to say that this forum is helping me understand so much about people with dementia and how their carers can help in day-to-day life.

I am a Radiographer working in X-Ray and would like to know if anyone has ever had a bad experience in medical imaging. This could include X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, nuclear medicine or mammography (breast screening).

I know that these scans can be really awful experiences for those with dementia and am interested in improving our services.

Have you or a family member had a really good or bad experience that you could share? Do you have any ideas that could improve these types of services?
 

WJG

Registered User
Sep 13, 2020
103
0
I've just had three scans:CT SPECT and MRI. I have to sat that the standards of care in each were exemplary. Everything was well explained and I felt well taken care of. The MRI was undoubtedly the scariest, as even with ear plugs the noise levels are high. Listening to music would be good - but I guess that would involve metal which epeould interfere with the process.
 

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
271
0
Hi @Jen96, I think in some ways COVID is making it easier for some people with dementia - the waiting times to get seen seem to be shorter at the moment. I find long waits very stressful as my PWD can get anxious and repeatedly asks the same thing. The longer we can stay with them the better (which thankfully most people understand when I say she has alzheimer's) - if I had not been there in the changing room my PWD would not have managed to get the gown on.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,361
0
High Peak
Glad that you are asking!

I'd say with any medical procedure, don't ask the person questions! If you ask 'How long have you had this pain? When did the accident happen?' or - heaven forbid! - 'How long have you had dementia/memory problems?' there will be trouble! And tell them what they need to know in order to stay calm, i.e. 'This will only take XX minutes and doesn't hurt at all - you won't feel a thing!' That is more useful than explaining the purpose of the scan. As others have said, allow the carer to be there as much as possible so they can assist/reassure, etc. If you need any info, ask the carer, perhaps out of earshot of the patient.

Even simple questions like, 'Does it hurt here?' can be hard for people with dementia to answer.

There are exceptions of course, like our friend @WJG above!
 

Jen96

New member
Apr 2, 2021
4
0
I've just had three scans:CT SPECT and MRI. I have to sat that the standards of care in each were exemplary. Everything was well explained and I felt well taken care of. The MRI was undoubtedly the scariest, as even with ear plugs the noise levels are high. Listening to music would be good - but I guess that would involve metal which epeould interfere with the process.
Thank you so much for your reply! Most MRI scans have headphones now that play music through and most hospitals should offer the option of radio or often you can bring your own disc. Of course this depends on how new the machine is. If you have anymore it may be worth asking. Very valuable feedback thanks again!
 

Jen96

New member
Apr 2, 2021
4
0
Hi @Jen96, I think in some ways COVID is making it easier for some people with dementia - the waiting times to get seen seem to be shorter at the moment. I find long waits very stressful as my PWD can get anxious and repeatedly asks the same thing. The longer we can stay with them the better (which thankfully most people understand when I say she has alzheimer's) - if I had not been there in the changing room my PWD would not have managed to get the gown on.
Thanks for your reply, I agree. Covid has helped in some ways in our departments as waiting times are shorter. One of the things we are working on is cutting down waiting times for people with more complex needs.
 

Jen96

New member
Apr 2, 2021
4
0
Glad that you are asking!

I'd say with any medical procedure, don't ask the person questions! If you ask 'How long have you had this pain? When did the accident happen?' or - heaven forbid! - 'How long have you had dementia/memory problems?' there will be trouble! And tell them what they need to know in order to stay calm, i.e. 'This will only take XX minutes and doesn't hurt at all - you won't feel a thing!' That is more useful than explaining the purpose of the scan. As others have said, allow the carer to be there as much as possible so they can assist/reassure, etc. If you need any info, ask the carer, perhaps out of earshot of the patient.

Even simple questions like, 'Does it hurt here?' can be hard for people with dementia to answer.

There are exceptions of course, like our friend @WJG above!
I never realised this! We are always asking questions to make sure someone is comfortable but as I can now see that doesn’t always help. Thank you!
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,725
0
Dorset
The problems of dementia. While this thread is running so is the one asking for people to treat their PWD as adults and talk to them, ask them what they want etc.!!!
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,181
0
North Manchester
At any stage it's a bad idea to say 'would you like a or b?'
Better to say 'how about a?'
If not accepted divert by talking about something or other.
Only try 'how about b' some time later.
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
186
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
I support those comments that advise to allow the carer to be there, for reassurance, to help guide and as well to aid communications as they are familiar with the person's way of communicating. Make sure that the dementia is known prior to the visit, and therefore to allow more time and so not having to rush the procedure.
I was allowed in when my husband had to go for a barium scan and it made the process more manageable for him as well as the staff and myself.
 

WJG

Registered User
Sep 13, 2020
103
0
I'm bothered by comments which say 'communicate like this, or do t communicate like this'. Personally I want as much explained as possible - but others won't. Sure, I am at an 'early stage' but we are individuals, and need treating as such.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,181
0
North Manchester
With my wife at the early MCI stage giving her a choice meant that she did not respond, she was incapable of making any decision.

My previous post was probably too all embracing, carers and those communicating with a PWD need to be aware of potential solutions if problems arise.

@WJG
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
3,229
0
Southampton
dont over complicate things. try not to be too long and this can feel far longer. talk to carer and PWD together so both have the option to answer. keep carer and PWD together as the carer is quite often the PWD comfort blanket and trusts only them. if i say its fine, my husband will do it.