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'We should not dismiss the value of Nightingale wards'


I’m a nurse who has only worked in a new build hospital accommodating 24 patients on a ward. The ward is very long and comprises of 50% single rooms with three 4 bed bays. Our cliental are those over 65 years with acute medical problems and we also specialise in dementia and delirium. While the ward is great for infection control, patients with high risks of falls need to be placed in the bays where they are most visible. With a team of 8 patients it can take me and my carer up to one and a half hours just to make a round therefore if a patient in a side room deteriorates, collapses or falls action is delayed due to lack of visibility. There are no longer any day rooms therefore patients in side rooms often ask if they can be moved out to the bays because they feel isolated, dementia patients will wander because they have no stimulation increasing the risk of falls and dietary intake amongst the dementia patients is reduced as they are eating alone, patients in side rooms will use their buzzers just to check there is a member of staff around taking up more of the staffs’ time. For our cliental a Nightingale style ward and the return of day rooms is what they really need. Before hospital designs are approved and huge amounts of money spent, managers and directors should be made to spend a couple of weeks working on such wards so they can see what the true needs of the patients are. The dignity of patients nursed in bays is not diminished and as we are living in an aging population with an ever increasing dementia rate these problems are only going to increase. In response to the “clocking on and off” comment, I work for a trust that have already implemented a clocking on and off system, which has benefits, if I’m late clocking off because a shift has been particularly busy the hierarchy get to see that staff often work above and beyond their duty.

Posted date

29 May, 2011

Posted time

2:14 pm