May is always a busy time for Nursing Times. There is RCN congress and, at the start of the month, a flurry of requests for us to speak at trusts’ International Nurses Day celebrations.
This year, I’ve decided that the theme of my talks to those nurses on those wonderful days will be about how nurses are the leaders of change, and innovators in improving the quality of care.
An excellent example of this is the #EndPJparalysis campaign. Started by nurse educator Brian Dolan in 2016, the campaign aims to encourage patients in acute hospital wards to get out of bed and get dressed to keep them moving to expedite their own recovery.
The campaign extols the psychological benefits of being dressed on patients’ mental and emotional wellbeing, because it’s good for patient dignity for them to be in their own clothes.
But there’s also the physical benefits for recovery. An 80-year-old patient can lose the equivalent of 10 years’ muscle mass through 10 days of bed rest. That can mean the difference between independent living and dependency, so there is a financial incentive for encouraging patients to get moving. There are many reasons to motivate staff to get their patients up, dressed and moving.
Individual trusts have already recognised the benefits for their patients and the Twitter hashtag has ignited the passion and commitment of nurses to its cause over the past year or so. But, as of yesterday, the campaign has become a national one, endorsed by both the chief nursing officers of England and Wales.
”It came from a nurse, it’s being led by nurses, it’s being explained by nurses (to patients and medical colleagues) and its impact is being evidenced by nurses.”
The 70-day campaign is being run in honour of the NHS’s 70th birthday this year, and aims to save a million days of patients’ time.
There’s an app and a website, and data is being collected on the impact of this initiative over its 70-day duration.
The simple idea behind this is what is truly impressive. It came from a nurse, it’s being led by nurses, it’s being explained by nurses (to patients and medical colleagues) and its impact is being evidenced by nurses.
Well done to every nurse taking part in the #EndPJParalysis70 campaign, and if you’re not yet doing so, then find out more about it by downloading the app.
This is nursing at its very best – taking charge, setting goals and working towards them as a team with the patient at the heart of it all.