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The aim of this chapter is to present the many varied procedures that contribute towards the comfort of patients at all times. This ranges from the very specific procedures involved in pain management to those that promote comfort from a wider perspective, such as personal hygiene and end‐of‐life care.
In ensuring patient comfort, it is necessary to consider aspects of any procedure from the pre‐planning stage to the return of the patient to their pre‐procedure position.
Comfort will mean different things to different patients. It may involve being in a relaxed state of tolerable pain, disappointment or perhaps satisfaction or physical well‐being provided by another person. For the nurse, aspects of care to be considered include discussions prior to undertaking the procedure, gaining consent, ensuring pain control and maintaining privacy and dignity, offering mouthcare as well as paying attention to the patient's immediate environment.
For some patients, for instance those with dementia or learning disabilities, addressing the issue of patient comfort may rely on other skills such as observation, non‐verbal communication or working closely with family and carers to help identify and meet the patient's needs.