Technology has taken a few twists and bends in the world of epilepsy. Along these changes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the first approval in 1997 the to use the medical device named the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) in addition with drugs to help control specific type seizures. Because every patient varies in treatment, every setting of the VNS will be different so with that the conversation between a coworker and his/her manager will slightly differ. In the end, there should be enough detail to explain the item.
Defining the VNS to your coworkers
A situation can occur while at work and you are needed to use the VNS magnet. Only one coworker happens to see the magnet swipe but did not say anything until later in the day during lunch break in a private conversation, should the question be answered. The most important thing for anyone to do in this type of situation is not to pretend or deny using the VNS magnet as it shows signs of dishonesty and people can sense when another is hiding something. The next step is to smile then ask what they would like to know. That response shows your coworker you are willing to have an open line of communication with them. The smile also places them at ease and welcomes them into the conversation. In most cases, the coworker will openly discuss what is on their mind and bring up what had been seen earlier in the day.
After listening to your coworker’s thoughts, it is best to consider first the person most likely knows nothing about epilepsy and secondly will not understand the medical terms. An easy way to explain a VNS implant can be put into simple terms that are easy to understand. Because the VNS uses a magnet to control the implant, a definition can explain how the VNS actually works. During the conversation, you can show the magnet so your coworker is aware of what is used.
Of course, this conversation may not be simple the first time around. It may be worth taking some time to consider what type of information to include before starting a conversation so everything makes sense on what the VNS is. The positive benefits are what you as a patient has to control seizures can be shared with persons in your workplace.