So, I have been redeployed back to the wards for two weeks. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as I feared – the patients who are recovering from COVID-19 are doing very well, eating, drinking, having physiotherapy to get back on their feet.
I am however reminded of some of the small things that, to me, could be better.
These are small things.
Of course, a hospital environment should be there to support people to heal.
However, the days are LONG for patients.
They get bored, this can lead to increased confusion, leading to people standing up to walk, and inevitably, fall over.
Some small things that the wards I have been working on could do with:
1) Combs – even though people are wearing hospital pyjamas, they still want to look as presentable as possible. They have likely come to hospital in a rush, so don’t have a comb or brush with them.
2) Radios – if we can’t have free televisions for each patient (preferable!) radios would be nice.
3) Shower gel – for the daily wash…using hospital issue shampoo as body wash is ok in a pinch, but shouldn’t be the norm. Patients don’t often have a shower, they usually have a wash. So, a nice shower gel/body wash would make the experience a little better than a squidge of pink shampoo from a packet.
4) Emery boards – nails get hella long, hella quickly! Patients should have the choice to decide how they want their nails – if they want them filed, this could lead to a nice, short, hand massage therapy session.
5) Laundry facilities – I know, high hopes. Many patients have only got the clothes they came in with. It would be nice if their clothes could be cleaned…they need to be cleaned.
I have SO many ideas – I don’t usually nurse on wards, so have been able to see things from the patients’ perspectives. There are small things that could help to make the misery of a hospital stay a little less awful.