Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinical Student Handbook

Delivery of Patient Care

Patient Comfort

It is important to attend carefully to the patient's comfort and as such clinical interns should be aware of and anticipate their patient’s needs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Room Temperature
  • Patient’s Modesty
  • Table Height
  • Room Lighting
  • Music preferences
  • Needle Tolerance
  • Chemical Sensitivity Issues
  • Patient’s Emotional State (Fearful, Anxious etc…)
  • Always knock and ask permission before entering the treatment room.

Patient Modesty and Draping Considerations

Interns should keep in mind a patient’s comfort and modesty in asking them to undress or in uncovering parts of their bodies needed for treatment. The intern should tell the patient what body parts are needed for the treatment, offer a gown if necessary, or suggest a minimal level of disrobing. If the patient declines to wear a gown, it is always preferable to ask the patient to adjust clothing rather than to remove it.

The intern can offer a towel or blanket as needed for warmth or modesty. Position the patient in a way that allows for maximum comfort and adequate access to treatment points.

Other Considerations

The intern should make sure the patient understands the stages of an acupuncture treatment, including being left alone to rest with the needles inserted. New patients should not be left unattended for more than ten minutes. An intern should leave the hand bell, located in each treatment room, by the side of the patient so that the patient can summon an intern, if necessary.

Needle Incidents ~ Retention and Needle Stick

On rare occasions an intern may accidently retain or forget to remove a needle in a patient after the treatment is over, or an intern may accidently stick themselves with a needle after removing it from a patient. The patient may not realize a needle has been retained until they are dressing or, in some situations a caregiver notices a needle is retained. The needle stick may seem small, but it can represent a serious incident which should be addressed immediately. In either case, the intern is required to immediately report the situation to their supervisor, and follow protocols established in the Incident Report Form (Appendix C) and if exposed to a BBP, follow protocols in the Incident Exposure Incident Report (Appendix D). Failure to report the incident immediately may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the clinic shift and forfeit of the shift.