Monday, 6 June 2011

The Indignities of hospital stays

Can someone explain to me why it is acceptable to assume that on entering a hospital ward you are willingly and happily giving up all rights to dignity and privacy? You are assumed to have lost all inhibitions and somewhere along the way, intelligence.

I appreciate that wards of 4 or 6 are a huge improvement over the large wards of years gone by, but ward doors are left open all day, to enable the nurses to see into the wards, so trying to get some privacy is difficult. There is one wet room per ward of, say, 6 which contains the toilet, wash hand basin and the open shower. So unless you are in there first, you cannot get dressed as it is wet - every where -, and you even get your feet wet going to the loo! So you have to dry off and dress by closing your curtains. However, as  the nurses open them without a second thought,it is not the most relaxing of circumstances. Even trying to put a little makeup on, sorting your hair, is all there to be viewed by the passing world. I have to admit to not having many showers during my last stay, and rarely dressed, for those reasons. I would wait till the cleaner had been before having a wash and dress as the shower room would be considerably dryer then.

I also get quite irritated by the fact that the doctors/ nurses, discuss the most personal of details with you with only the curtain closed (sometimes). They might think nothing of it, but I get a little embarrassed by discussing things in front of total strangers!!! It is also just as unsettling listening to this happening to others around you.

While I understand that nurses have to work on the premise that they are responsible for your wellbeing and take control of all your meds, I do so dislike being talked to as if I have a problem understanding them, even being addressed as “dear”. An example,  I have eye drops and I asked to keep them so I didn’t have to ask for them all the time, yet when the nurse would come round with the drug trolley, she would always ask, “now have you used your eye drops dear?” aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I often had to grit my teeth and not make a cheeky retort!!  At home you are trusted with, in my case, a supermarket carrier full of pescription drugs, yet when in hospital when you request something you are expected to make a case for why you should be given the painkiller, or whatever.

On my last stay I was given an additional pressie, MRRA, so was promptly whisked off to a room on my own. Apart from the inconvenience of antibiotics being given IV, I had my own shower room, privacy as I could keep the door shut and even close the blinds, I could watch TV till whenever, as I couldn't disturb anyone.....bliss! Still a tad extreme way of acheiving it.

1 comment:

  1. OMG that is so different from experiences in hospital. First off I've only ever stayed in for cardiac reasons, and all my adult life it has been on the Adult Congential Heart Unit (16+) at the Brompton in London. We have our TVs, our own kitchen so we can avoid hospital food,as well as our own 'lounge' visiting hours are all day parents/partners can come and go as please. We have our own medication in our lockers and are just gently reminded to take it so nurses can mark it off on chart. Unless we are on bed rest we can go down to coffee shops etc within hospital as long as we check with nurses first. The nurses are amazing. Plus everyone is checked for MRSA prior to admission and given eradication stuff is positive. The unit should be a flagship for all wards. Admittedly some of the staff and 'luxuries' are funded by charity money.