Patients should be as safe in hospital at the weekend as they are during the week. And from a nursing point of view we need to avoid that ‘nothing happens at the weekend’ feeling that patients can get.
It is important to maintain quality of care every day of the week. For example, patients who are being helped to get dressed should not be left in their pyjamas at the weekend or left in bed rather than being sat out in the chair.
It can be tempting for a mood of ‘it’s only the weekend’ to become part of the culture of care. Patients may not be having surgical procedures or going for X-rays during the weekend but they can still progress and develop from the nursing care that they receive.
It can be hard to keep up energy levels at the weekend as well as during the week. I remember it sometimes being hard to maintain the momentum during the weekend. It does require that wards and units be sufficiently well-staffed to avoid patients experiencing the equivalent of being held in a holding bay for 48 hours, waiting for care to ignite again first thing on Monday morning.
Weekends can be difficult for patients - particularly if they do not have visitors. The care that nurses offer can help patients to make progress in their recovery, whatever the day of the week it is.