During the COVID19 pandemic clinicians are finding new ways of delivering care to patients and expanding on services that can offer support and care remotely.
Epilepsy Specialist Nurse helplines have long been established and provide an essential link to the consultant led team between appointments and people with epilepsy may be familiar with accessing these helplines for information and management.
Virtual appointments have already been in use in some hospitals in place of outpatients attendance but for many people with epilepsy, this will be a new experience.
Remember - the hospital will tell you in advance of your appointment date to expect your Outpatient appointment to be delivered virtually so you can make arrangements to be available at the time given.If you are having your clinic outpatients appointment delivered virtually for the first time, here are some tips to prepare for the call to make sure you get what you need from the appointment.
- Think about where it is best to take the call - this could be a quiet room with minimal distractions but where you can get stable phone coverage. Have a pen and paper to hand and your phone charged up.
- Have a list prepared of your key priority questions to ask the doctor or Epilepsy Specialist Nurse.
- Have an up to date seizure diary with details of seizure type, pattern, frequency and duration.
- If your seizures have been witnessed have a written witness account from anyone present, or if the witness is a family member sharing your home you may want them to be available during the call to clarify any details.
- Report any new features to your seizures.
- Have your medication to hand and details of medication for other conditions as well as any over the counter medicines you are taking.
- If you have questions about your prescription or renewal have your pharmacy name and phone number to hand in case these are needed.
- Report any possible side effects of medication.
- Take notes of any guidance and, if there is time, recap on the main points discussed at the end of the call to make sure you are clear about the guidance and what was discussed.
- The clinician will advise you about when you should be seen or called again at the end of the call so make a note of this and if you do not receive an appointment time near the date suggested you should contact your Consultant’s secretary directly.
Remember we remain available to you throughout this pandemic through our team of Community Resource Officers. Please do hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns regarding your or a family member's epilepsy. More on COVID-19 and epilepsy is available here.
Can you take part in the #challenge32 for Epilepsy Ireland and support our work? You can read more about this here!