SPEEDING THE RECOVERY OF PATIENTS, WHILE INCREASING DIGNITY
“As a nurse, one of my responsibilities is to adapt to patients’ needs and accommodate them as much as possible. Staying in a hospital is a very stressful time for patients and their families. With four patients in the same room, personal comfort can often be compromised and safety can be an issue.
Patients may spread germs and bacteria to each other when they share a common living space, especially a common toilet. They are susceptible to contracting disease due to their compromised immune system. It has been demonstrated that the rates of infection from MRSA and C. difficile decrease significantly when patients have their own space, or share with only one other patient.
Privacy is also a concern. Receiving bad news or discussing health concerns with the medical team is a very private matter. Patients may feel uncomfortable with other patients or visitors overhearing their conversations. Patients who are distressed may become anxious to a level where they are unable to take their medication.
Some patients, such as those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, may be unaware of the noise they are generating. A more private space will allow patients to be more relaxed, and talk freely to their family. They could spend more quality time with their loved ones without disturbing or being disturbed by others. Reducing the size of the wards will aid in noise reduction, including the attendant noise of other patients’ monitoring or treatment equipment.
Patients feel very vulnerable while in hospital, and their environment should make their stay as pleasant as possible. The benefits of increased infection control and privacy, as well as reduction in noise, will result in an improved hospital stay for patients. Hospital staff’s ability to provide superior care will be enhanced by a decrease in secondary infection, and more relaxed patients.
Overall, these benefits may well aid in and speed the recovery of patients, resulting in an increased turnover of the beds, more dignity and better care.”