Qualities of a good patient companion

When you or someone you care for is hospitalized, it has an emotional impact, and affects both the patient and their family. If the patient needs to stay in the hospital for several weeks, it’s important for them to have a companion they can count on for support and to help them better cope with their time in the hospital.

Ideally, a patient is accompanied by a family member, but sometimes this isn’t possible, either for work or family reasons, or because the hospital is located in a different city. In these cases, it is increasingly common to have a hospital companion, a person with special preparation for this task. In this article, we describe the qualities that someone who accompanies a patient should have.

Qualities that a patient companion must have

1. Empathy, to be able to place yourself in the patient's situation and understand what they are feeling. It is very important that the person who accompanies a patient be empathetic and able to show compassion.

2. Listening and communication skills. The accompanying person must be a good listener and be able to communicate easily with the patient.

3. Patience and ability to handle stress. Dealing with sick people requires a high level of patience and the ability to handle the stress that may be involved in caring for them.

4. Be organized and have the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the patient, make sure they take their medication, and attend to different needs as they arise.

5. Ability to make decisions swiftly and with consideration for the patient.

6. Maintain a positive attitude to keep the patient as optimistic as possible.

7. Exercise discretion and confidentiality regarding the patient, their illness, and treatment.

In addition, when it comes to accompanying patients who have had spinal surgery, at Instituto Clavel we recommend that the companionn be prepared with the following as well:

8. Understanding of any restrictions and needs the patient may have during the postoperative period

9. Physical ability and skill needed to lift the patient, help them move in bed, and walk, as instructed by the doctor.

10. Ability to detect possible problems that may arise in the postoperative period and, very importantly, ability to help the patient manage pain.

Having the necessary physical and emotional support can be the key to ensuring the patient's best recovery.

Dr. Ignasi Catalá
Neurosurgeon and Medical Director, Instituto Clavel


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