Calming Patients During an Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy
For patients, breast biopsies can be unnerving. There’s the initial stress of the procedure and the nerve-wracking anxiety as they wait for the results. If you’re wondering what you can do to prepare and calm your patients for this procedure, there’s quite a bit. Here’s a short but detailed guide on calming patients during an ultrasound guided breast biopsy. Following these simple tips will ensure the biopsy goes smoothly, giving you—and your patient—the best possible results.
Understand Their Anxiety
The first step to calming your patients is to begin the procedure with a sense of understanding. As with any procedure, a breast biopsy can leave patients with a long list of anxieties and fears.
Some women might be frightened of the procedure itself. Needles and the potential of pain are common stressors, as is planning time off work to accommodate their visit.
The most common stress-causing aspect, however, is uncertainty over the results. Women going into a breast biopsy likely have underlying fears of receiving a life-changing cancer diagnosis. This is especially true if they have a strong family history to support such a diagnosis.
The fear of cancer is common and can be overwhelming for the patient. It encompasses fear of the unknown, of pain, of death, and at its core, major lifestyle changes.
Understanding your patient’s fears will go a long way in performing a biopsy with as little patient anxiety as possible, as it helps you to better alleviate their prime causes of stress. Talking in-depth with your patient before the procedure can help identify some of their biggest stressors.
Meditation has been proven to drastically reduce the anxiety of patients undergoing ultrasound guided breast biopsies. Obtaining a pre-recorded meditation session is inexpensive, if not cost-free, and can significantly lower the patient’s pain, anxiety, and fatigue during the procedure.
All meditation should take a loving/kindness approach, encouraging patients to build positive emotions, such as compassion towards oneself and others, and release negative, pent up feelings.
When it comes to pain, anxiety, and fatigue, music, like meditation, has reductive effects. Patients should be given a choice in the type of music they’re exposed to during the procedure, but to make things easy, the selection options can be narrowed down.
Instrumental jazz, classical piano, harp and flute, nature sounds, or world music are the best options. High-energy music is more likely to increase feelings of stress or anxiety and should be avoided.
A final, basic tip for calming patients during an ultrasound guided breast biopsy is to offer gentle, encouraging words and affirmations. Explain the procedure to the patient beforehand and assure them that they can speak up if they’re feeling discomfort or pain.
Inform them that you’ll try to make the biopsy as fast and painless as possible and that you’ll do the best you can to have results sent out quickly.
If they’re experiencing an intense fear of cancer-positive results, be gentle with them. Choose your words carefully, and above all else, reassure them that they’re in good hands.
Conquest Imaging is your home for high-end, competitively priced ultrasound equipment. If you’re interested in machines like the LOGIQ E9™, come and look through our inventory.