3 Epilepsy-related Tips for a New Nurse (Or Caregiver)
By Amber J. Walch
When I graduated as a Registered Nurse 15 years ago, the online resources like nursing apps for your phone, epilepsy websites, and Facebook groups weren’t quite as easy to come by as they are now. I had my trusty med book and basic seizure knowledge from nursing school. As a home care nurse, I took care of children with epilepsy. I’d attend school with them and help with their day-to-day activities. When I first started in Home Care, I was a brand-new nurse. Typically, home care is not where our Nursing Instructors recommended new nurses to start but there I was!
Seizures were scary to me. There were medications that needed to be given daily, certain diets to help with seizures and then there were the medications to give if my client was having a seizure! And that may have been their only diagnosis or only just one of them.
Over time I got more comfortable with my duties. Here are some important things I did to get there.
Know your medications.
• You don’t have to know every medication out there but do become comfortable with the medications you’ll be administering.
• Have a drug book or app on your phone handy to reference.
• Know what the medication is and what side effects to monitor for.
Run through scenarios.
• What happens if my client has a seizure?
• Where are the rescue medications located?
• How much of the medication do I give?
• How do I administer the medication?
Quiz and interview the child’s parents or other main caregivers.
It’s likely there is already a solid group of caregivers already caring for your client. They could be full of so much knowledge that will be helpful for you in your duties with the child and in the future! Ask away!
Lastly, don’t forget to peruse the EFMN.org website to gather more resources. I found social events, camps, meetings, trainings, and webinars. They even have an entire resource library. That in itself is a huge support!
With these few tips, you, as a new nurse or a new caregiver, will find yourself in a better place to knowledgeably take care of a child with epilepsy.