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How can nurses ensure dignity is maintained during toileting?

  • Comment
  • Article: Logan K (2012) Toilet privacy in hospital. Nursing Times; 108: 5, 12-13.
  • Author: Karen Logan is nurse consultant and head of continence service, Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital, Cwmbran, Torfaen.

Key points

  • Dignity is about small things that are extremely important
  • Concern is growing that inpatients’ expectations are not being met in terms of dignity, particularly for older people
  • Without sensitive support, continence care can become undignified and impersonal
  • Ensuring patients have privacy and dignity when using the toilet is crucial
  • Privacy pegs and signs can help give patients more dignity

Let’s discuss

Think about patients on your ward who requires help with toileting.

  • How could you measure whether their privacy and dignity is maintained during toileting?
  • How often do you use a commode or bed pan rather than take a patient to the toilet?
  • Are there environmental barriers that prevent you taking patients to the toilet?
  • How could these be addressed?
  • What other changes could you make to ensure privacy and dignity is maintained?
  • Comment

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