How Can I Help You?

How Can I Help You?

June 21, 2019 5 By Kailee Schamberger



in this video you will see realistic situations where patients and visitors who are visually impaired are interacting with healthcare workers and volunteers the objective of this video is to identify some of the situations that you may encounter in your job and to give you more knowledge and confidence to help the visually impaired people with visual impairments are unique and their level of vision varies widely in fact ninety percent of persons who are legally blind still have some remaining vision so don't assume that all persons who are visually impaired will act the same or need the same kind of help the best thing that you can do is to ask them how can I help you imagine being visually impaired and going to a hospital or doctor's office health care situations under normal circumstances may cause anxiety now imagine being visually impaired as well you may not be able to see where you are going read signs or even see people's faces as a health care worker you may see someone who is standing there looking lost or confused you want to help you suspect that they are having trouble seeing but you're not sure what you should do hopping can be as simple as asking how can I help you hello my name is sue how may I help you I'm here for an observation all right would you like to take my arm thank you providing assistance is not difficult there are no set ways or specific rules to follow through this video you will see how easy it can be to recognize and assist someone who is visually impaired you will understand some of the ways that you can give that assistance be creative and flexible but most importantly you will understand that the best thing that you can do is to ask how can I help you so let's start with some of the basics there are three techniques that the visually impaired will use to travel the use of the white cane the dog guide and sighted guide the white cane is the universal symbol of blindness or visual impairment in reality only 10% of persons who are visually impaired will use a white cane less than 1% of people with visual impairments will travel with the assistance of a dog guide the Americans with Disabilities Act states that health care facilities need to have policies in place that allow for dog guides when you see a dog guide there are some rules that you need to remember scuse me I know it's really tempting to pet him but if you could not pet him he's working for me I can't see it all and it would help me never touch distract or hinder the work of a dog guide good morning good morning how are you good my name is Bob and I'm a volunteer may I help you yes I'm looking for outpatient services I am obviously blind and I love some directions if I could okay what you're gonna do is you're gonna take go straight ahead and you're gonna walk up a hallway and give me a set of elevators right there you're gonna take them to the first floor you would like I'd be happy to assist you and take you up I'd be fantastic actually I just put them gonna follow alright if you walk normally we've got it very good quint follow would you like to take my other side a gut is the most common way that persons with visual impairments will travel describe how doors open it opens away from us the hinge is on the right sided guide means simply that a person with vision is leading the way when guiding someone who is visually impaired do just that guide never grab them but rather extend your arm and let them know it is there discuss where you are going what you will encounter on the way like steps and other obstacles sometimes you suspect that they are having trouble seeing but you're not sure what you should do if they know you are there a person with a visual impairment like anyone else will ask for assistance if and when it is needed I'm glad not stuff so could you talk a little kosher our sister on the second floor you go over there over there is not helpful and people often think that they need to raise their voices confusing hearing loss with visual impairment Oh would you like me to take you over oh sure come on this way if you think that someone is visually impaired let them know that you are willing to help by asking them how can I help you Suzanne I'm a greeter here oh so you might need a little directions yeah when assisting someone who is blind or visually impaired be specific with your directions use words like left or right use points of reference to help guide them like the number of doors to the left or it's to the right of the stairs so on your right will be in the nurse's station and they can help you from there okay how does that sound a little confusing Oh would you like me to show you the way sure is that to her no that's fine take my elbow Thanks the fact that a person has a visual impairment may not be obvious at all and some people don't like to admit that they can't see well some misconceptions about people with visual impairments are that they all use white canes and wear sunglasses or that they are helpless and don't get around very well but the truth is that many are able to function very well independently there is also the belief that they see just black but less than 10 percent of people with visual impairments have no remaining vision the rest have varying degrees of vision their vision may be cloudy or gray they may have lost their central vision that area that provides them the ability to read recognize faces or measure depth perception such as those with macular degeneration for many with diabetes not only is their central vision lost but areas of the peripheral as well still others may have lost their peripheral vision and only be able to see a small fraction of what is directly in front of them some people are born blind some have lost their vision suddenly but most lose their vision gradually over 75% of people with visual impairments are seniors even though many people with visual impairments may travel and live independently still there are times when they could use and appreciate your help people with visual impairments may need special accommodations to help them have access to printed materials howdy I have some documents for you to read today and we have a variety of ways that you could look at them I have a large print version and some Braille we have an audio tape of the same document or someone could read them to you we also have a magnifier which one would you prefer well I brought my magnifier I think I'll use this oh very good as suggested under ad a public organisations should offer alternative formats to access information many formats are very easy to create and very inexpensive be creative and think about some of the things that you can do in your area keeping in mind that HIPAA and privacy are also important hello Hattie my name is Kristy I'm going to be a nurse today why are you yelling at me like that you're not hard of hearing oh well I'm going to orient you to the room today and take your vital signs there are some special considerations related to communicating with people with visual impairments a patient might not be aware if you walk away without telling them be sure to orient them to their room or their surroundings pointing out locations of importance and reviewing the operations of devices such as the remote control or call buttons be sure to explain things and let them know before touching them even for vital signs the morning Hattie my name is Kristy I'm gonna be your nurse today how are you doing this morning good I'm gonna orient you to your room okay and let you know where things are all right so when you're sitting in bed as you are on your left hand side there is a bedside table on the bedside table there is a call bell so you can get a hold of the nurse and there is a phone this is the call bell can you see the right big big red button on the top I'm gonna have you push it and that's how you'd get that to go out to the nurse's station so we know that we need to come in and see what you need you can't hear it in here though no you can't all right this is your phone are you able to see the numbers okay yes okay to get out on an outside line there is a red button on the right hand side of the phone right here and you just push that and it will give you an outside line okay in front of you is your bedside table okay on now behind you here you're gonna feel me touching your back okay before in during procedures health care workers need to be mindful to communicate carefully remembering that a patient can't see what is going on so what we're gonna do will you sit in just a second here I'm gonna just get some cold wet soap and just clean off your back a little bit so you'll feel me kind of moving in the circular motion like I am right now once we get that we're going to put some sterile drapes across your back hi Hattie on Jan from food services and I have your lunch tray how can I help you with this today where is it oh it's right here in front of you ok well at 6 o'clock you have a sandwich at 7 o'clock is your silverware using references such as positions on a clock are also easy ways to provide information this technique is helpful to find something that is in front of them it can also be used to orient them to their surroundings both indoors and out and down here at 4 o'clock is some delicious looking cheesecake not only patients but visitors as well may need assistance remember if you are leading someone with visual impairment offer to let that person take your arm as you are walking together describe the environment including obstacles you are trying to avoid there's a wet floor sign here so we're going to need to go a little to the right and a laundry cart on our right remember if you see someone you think may need help introduce yourself and ask how can I help you hi my name is Bob but I knew as many hospitals volunteer yep may I help you or how can I help you yeah I just was wondering could you show me some of the choices for lunch I'd be happy to if you'd keep my arm yeah the most lucky and grab a tray and the first thing we have come to is soups and salads okay that's good okay I have some instructions for you some important things for you to know after you go home I've got them in written form I can read them to you a critical consideration for patients with visual impairments is their understanding of discharge instructions and being able to review them after they go home I know you may not remember everything after some of the medication I can also call you later if that would be helpful what what works best for you when you're getting this kind of information right well call me later would be great and I actually have a recorder so if you could hand it to me I think it's on the chair that way I'll hear it and have it to reference technology is offering many options to help patients with visual impairments manage their care so be creative and flexible so you just have to speak normally and it'll work okay hi Randy it's Maryann Chaffee I'm the nurse although you may never have assisted someone who is visually impaired before there is no need to feel uneasy about meeting or helping someone who can't see with a helpful attitude some common sense and some assistance from the person that you are trying to help it can be simple now you can feel more confident about giving that assistance if you're not sure what to do just ask how can I help you he or she will let you know if and how you can provide that assistance but with the information that we've just shared and the techniques you've just learned you'll know what to do remember just ask how can I help you you