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Discussion in 'Personal' started by BelleDuJour, Apr 30, 2012.
I often have flowers in my science lesson. In fact, my lab is full of plants and flowers!
Yes, but there aren't 2 or 3 of you in a confined space, trying to wash a patient, dress their wounds, make the bed - with them in it, put them on to the commode, use a hoist to move them in and out of bed etc, etc.
That is when they actually become an obstacle in the environment.
One of the the things we were taught about when assessing risks of moving and handling a patient, was to make sure the immediate environment is obstacle free - flowers = obstacle, when you are at risk of catching them with your arm as you are working or them getting caught in the screens etc.
I know it may not seem important, but it actually is.
In my recent stays in hospital I believed the lack of flowers to be down to an infection risk caused by the blooms themselves. There was a ban on cards and balloons on my maternity ward which I didn't really understand, but it was explained to me that these things are too awkwards for the cleaning staff to clean around. A wee card can be really cheering if you're in hospital for a while.
Re: bathrooms - you'd think, in a maternity ward, where ladies are of course going to be using sanitary towels and cardboard bowls for samples, the bathrooms would be checked a bit more frequently. I remember weakly stepping into the shower room for my first post-delivery shower to find a bloodied bedsheet on the floor. I summoned staff who removed the item. I was going to sit in the shower chair, but found it had blood on it too.
I got told off for bringing my cardboard bowl of pee out of the bathroom and had to explain that there were two other bowls in there so how would they know which one was mine?
It's interesting to get the perspective of a former nurse Doglover.
The wards of old you described were what I remembered too...but from a patient's point of view. There doesn't seem to be any one person on a ward now who is accountable. I feel we really do need someone to be overseeing cleanliness and the actions of nurses. As mentioned by Mr Flibble, last time I was in hospital, and completely immobile, I was horrified all the team of night-nurses seemed to do was sit round the nurses area reading, chatting and drinking coffee. If you needed assistance during the night it was never delivered with a smile or a look of concern. You were made to feel a nuisance for calling someone.
Even (junior) doctors drift in and out looking vague and spending as little time as possible with patients. A cursory glance at records seems to suffice. Many don't say hello and have difficulty maintaining eye contact. Bedside manner for many leaves so much to be desired. I had a conversation with Elaine once (now sadly departed) about the way staff would see patients as a nuisance and she raised the very valid point that they really don't expect to be nursing educated people very often. Many educated and/or professional people have private health care. If you do mention something or have the temerity to complain about something, because after all, you do have a voice, you can very easily be seen as a nuisance.
As a result of that conversation we laughed about the fact that we thought it was a good idea to always buy either the Times, Telegraph or Guardian to have on the bed when Doctors visited. It gave some a slight hint that you weren't someone they could dismiss and that you did have a bit of a brain. (I told her in that case I'd bring in a copy of War and Peace for hospital stays...)
As for flowers...I love them and think it is a shame they are banned by so many hospitals now. However, I can see the reasons why. Wards can be such dull places though...and I'd like to know just which designer was responsible for the utterly dreary and dull fabric used for the screens round beds at my local hospital. The hospital is state of the art..brand spanking new, but has (new) washed out looking, dull pink and grey faded patterned curtains in all wards. They look old and at the end of their life...like they've been washed too many times, the colours have run and they are a bit of a murky mess. The person responsible should be shot. They are depressing but the whole hospital has been kitted out with them.
AE, when looking after "educated" people it is important to remember that they need the same information, reassurance and care as every one else. It is very easy to fall into the trap of seeing them as "nuisance" patients, who know too much. Being ill in hospital leaves most people feeling very vulnerable. It is a completely unnatural environment, that no one would choose to be in.
I purposely never tell doctors or nurses I was a nurse. Quite often they pick up on it, through something I have accidentally said or just because they seem to work it out. The truth is, I just wanted to be treated like every one else, and have everything explained to me, in the same way.
The flower thing is primarily an infection related issue. But they are a bit of a nuisance. Of course, there are ways around it. Vases can be on window sills, or in the day room etc, and not by the patient's bedside. But the banning of flowers in wards is definitely not a new thing.
In a lot of hospitals they are now using the blue paperish disposable screens/curtains - similar to paper hospital gowns - that reduce cross infection. They are not actually too bad, compared to the awful floral screens they used to have, with all manners of stains on them. Perhaps they should make the paper one in a variety of pastel colours to brighten the place up
I truly believe that the over all accountability for the state of the ward, should revert to the sister in charge of the ward and that they should also bring back the old style matrons. I also believe, rather controversially perhaps, that nurse training needs to go back to the old style of training and be taken out of universities. You need to be there on the ward from day 1, learning basic nursing care and basic communication skills.
Nursing is a vocation if you like,as opposed to solely a profession.