A 48-year old female presents stiffness in both hands in the morning for last 7 months. Stiffness now lasted more than 1 hour every morning and includes hands, wrists and ankles. She also had increasing difficulty standing for long periods at work or at home due to foot and ankle pain. She began taking ibuprofen 800mg 3 times daily and found it helped her get through her day with less pain and stiffness. Three months ago, Joy noticed pain in her right and left shoulders when she would cut or blow dry her client’s hair. She also began feeling extremely tired and short tempered. She had no energy to do her usual activities. Ibuprofen was no longer very effective for her pain or stiffness. One morning, Joy could not lift her arms at all without extreme shoulder pain. She knew it was time to get help.
Pt is married with 3 teenagers, and works part time as a hairdresser.
Dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rx: methotrexate, Physical Therapy
You are providing the patient with education on her new diagnosis. Create a patient teaching plan that covers the following questions.
1. What is rheumatoid arthritis?
2. What are the important teaching points for her medication?
3. What are the recommendations to manage her joint pain during remission? During exacerbation?