A myelogram is a helpful exam when determining the source of a patient’s back pain. The procedure consists of using contrast dye and imaging technology to get a better look at the patient’s spinal cord, vertebrae, and surrounding nerves. Like many diagnostic procedures, a myelogram is relatively simple and painless. However, the idea of any operation is enough to make some patients nervous. It’s important to help your patients through the experience by being both friendly and knowledgeable. When you know how to prepare your patient for a myelogram, you can get everyone through the procedure as simply and comfortably as possible.

Discuss Best Practices for Preparation

As with any procedure or examination, your patient needs to know how to take care of themselves ahead of their appointment. Make sure you give them clear instructions regarding when they should arrive, what they can eat or drink beforehand, and other preparation practices. Patients should avoid eating for at least six hours before the exam. They should also be hydrated, so ask your patient to drink plenty of fluids the day before their appointment. Give your patient a time frame so that they know when to arrive at the facility and roughly how long their procedure will take. This is also the time to discuss any medications your patient is taking so that you can prevent any harmful interference or side effects.

Post-Examination Care

Communication before and during the examination is important, but another crucial part of how to prepare your patient for a myelogram is to discuss post-procedure instructions. Ideally, your patient should prepare everything they need after the exam before they even show up to their appointment. To achieve this, you must give clear directions about how to take care of oneself after the exam. Remind patients that they should have someone pick them up from the facility after their procedure. Patients should keep their head elevated and avoid lying flat for at least 24 hours after the exam. Hydration is a key part of recovery, so instruct patients to drink plenty of fluids while avoiding caffeine or alcohol.

Is your facility ready to perform successful myelograms? Make sure your staff has everything they need by purchasing comfortable and functional c-arm operating tables from Medical Positioning. When you have the proper training, procedures, and equipment on hand, you can provide better care for every patient who walks through your door.