Nurses have an important role to deliver when a client is to undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy. Find out what are the responsibilities and activities of the nurse during electroconvulsive therapy.
Emotional and Educational Support to the Client & Family
- Encourage the client to discuss feelings, including myths regarding ECT.
- Teach the client and the family what to expect with ECT.
Pre-treatment Protocol for ECT
- Ascertain if the client and the family have received a full explanation, including the option to withdraw the consent at any time.
- Withhold food and fluids for 6 to 8 hours before treatment.
- Remove dentures, glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, hair pins and etc.
- Have client void before the treatment.
- Give preoperative medications as ordered:
- Give either glycopyrrolate (Robinul) or atropine to prevent potential for aspiration and to help minimize brady-arrhythmias in response to electrical stimulants.
Nursing Care During the Procedure
- Place a blood pressure cuff on one of the client’s arms.
- As the intravenous line is inserted and EEC and ECG electrodes are attached, give a brief explanation to the client.
- Put on the pulse oximeter to the client’s finger.
- Monitor blood pressure throughout the threatement.
- Medications to be given:
- Short-acting anesthethic (Brevital)
- Muscle relaxant (Succinylcholine)
- 100% oxygen by mask via positive pressure
- Check if the bite block is placed in prevent biting of the tongue
- Electrical stimulus given (seizure should last 30 to 60 seconds).
Post treatment nursing care
- Have the client go to a properly staffed recovery room.
- Once the client is awake, talk to the client and check the vital signs.
- Give frequent orientation and reassurance to allay confusion.
- Check the gag reflex before giving client fluids, medications or breakfast.