Vision loss affects not only the patient but also family, friends, and the community. Coping mechanisms differ between individuals. It is a nursing responsibility to educate, assist, counsel, and prevent complications. A comprehensive approach to patient care is essential with blind individuals. Home health care considerations include education on community resources. When a total approach is taken, the patient's successful adjustment to home, work, and society is possible. Blind individuals are capable of leading a full and active life and need to be treated in such a manner.Nursing diagnoses and interventions for the patient with blindness or near blindness include but are not limited to the following:
NURSING DIAGNOSESNURSING INTERVENTIONS
- Fear, related to blindnessDetermine the patient's level of fear.Risk for injury, related to new environmentOrient the patient to use people and the environment.Use therapeutic touch.Avoid loud sounds that may startle the patient.Use protective devices, such as side rails and canes.Alter surroundings to afford safety—clear passageways, nonslip rugs, etc.The patient will require instruction on ambulatory safety. Instructions to include are walking slowly, using verbal clues from the walking companion, and encouraging the patient to touch objects or borders.The walking companion should precede the patient by about 1 foot, and the patient's hand should be on the companion's elbow to provide security (Figure 53-5). For both short-term and long-term blindness, if total vision is affected, a description of the surroundings is appropriate.
- Sighted-guide technique. The walking companion serves as the sighted guide, walking slightly ahead of the patient with the patient holding the back of the companion's arm.