The Hospital Inmate or Patient (as they like us to be)

You may have heard it said somewhere that when going into hospital you should “check your dignity at the door”.  It is unfortunately, true.  The other saying is, that “hospital is no place to be if you need rest”.  Personally, I am a firm believer in there being a fine line between staying in hospital long enough for them to fix you and getting out before they kill you.

I thought by way of example, I would share a standard day in hospital as documented by me at the time.   I wrote this because, as someone recovering from a craniotomy, it seemed as though there was a lot going on around me but I wasn’t sure if that was the case or if it was merely my perception.  I certainly had days when I wished I could be left alone to rest, sleep even.  I don’t expect you to read each entry merely consider the sheer number of interactions required on a standard day in hospital.

Day Six Post Surgery

6am                Water jug collected & meds administered.

6.45am          Morning shift receives handover at room door.

7am                Morning obs:

                        Blood Pressure (BP), oxygen saturation, temperature, pupil response, hands & feet strength.

7.20am           Fresh water jug and newspaper delivered.

7.30am           Fresh towels dropped off.

8am                 Surgeon visits.

8.10am           Buzz for pain meds.

8.15am           Breakfast delivered.

8.20am           Morning meds dispensed.

8.30am           Neuro Nurse Liaison visits.

8.45am           Excruciating head pain experienced.

9am                 Finish breakfast.

9.15am           Senior ward nurse pops in to check progress.

9.30am           Morning Obs including orientation to time and place.

9.45am           IV Gelco removed in preparation of showering.

10am               Shower and wash hair with nurse assisting.

10.20am         Cleaner through room.

10.30am         Neuro Nurse Liaison returns with update.

10.40am         Speech Pathologist assessment.

11am               Jason arrives for visit.

11.15am         Mail delivery.

12pm              Pain meds.

12.15pm        Lunch delivered.

2pm                Pain meds administered.

2.15pm           Short walk.

2.15pm           Mum arrives for visit.

2.30pm           Physio review.

2.30pm           Afternoon tea trolley time.

3pm                 Afternoon shift change.

3.15pm           Nurse check in.

3.45pm           Guests leave.

4pm                 Obs performed.

4.30pm           Walking with a nurse.

5pm                Nurse checks in.

5.10pm           Obs performed.

5.20pm           Dinner arrives.

5.30pm           Evening medications administered.

6.30pm           Tired and ready for bed.

6.50pm           Evening tea trolley time.

7pm                Nurses check in.

8pm                Night medicines administered.

8.50pm           Pain meds administered.

9pm                Lights out until next lot of obs or meds.

This equates to 40 interactions per day.  40 conversations or brief interactions whist I attempted to rest after brain surgery.  There appears no difference in the level of intrusion based upon degree of illness or injury.  Unless of course you are in the Intensive Care Unit, then the tea trolley doesn’t swing by.

I share this so that should you find yourself visiting someone in hospital and they appear tired and out of sorts, you can keep in mind the seemingly endless interruptions they may have experienced and the equally few, opportunities to sleep.  The day starts early in hospital and being rousted from sleep when all your body wants is rest, is enormously challenging to the mind, body and spirit.  Patients who still require regular medications or observations will also be woken frequently during the night.   So be patient with any patient you visit, they may be a bit grumpy and sleep deprived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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