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'Patients who put nurses before themselves need putting straight'

  • Comments (24)

An elderly woman said to me recently that she wore incontinence pads because it was easier for the nurses.

She needed to be hoisted in and out of bed so had to ask two nurses to use the hoist to put her on the commode or toilet. However, she said that she did know at least half of the time that she needed to use the toilet so with support and reassurance from the nurses could have maintained her dignity by using a commode or toilet.

Patients who are in hospital for a long time or who are being cared for in a nursing home can lose sight of their rights as an individual as part of being institutionalised. They start to put the nurses before themselves and try to do what they think the nurses find easier. Maybe it’s in some way like a prisoner trying to please their captors. And who wants to be unpopular with the people you depend on!

Ward and nursing home routines can rob the individual patient of their autonomy. However, nurses can try and find flexibility where they can to allow and encourage the patient to be an individual. If a patient likes to stay up late watching TV, nurses can position and settle them later rather than doing so just because the clock says that it is time.

Patients who have previously been independent do find it hard to accept that they need assistance and have to ask for help. Reassurance from nurses, that the assistance they offer is their job and that the patient is entitled to it, will need to be offered regularly. Nurse can help patients find their way by treating every patient differently because let’s face it, they are.

  • Comments (24)

Readers' comments (24)

  • Anonymous

    patient/residents often feel when they enter an establishment they surrender their"right " to autonomy" rubbish!I agree with the article
    As nurses we should empower them so chioces can be made. I know it is often busy on hospital wards.
    i also acknowledge that nurses on thesewards also try to help their patients as much as humanly possible
    However many times in the course of the time I have worked within the care home sector I have found continence "management " is through the use of a catheter.As the article states try and spend some time with your clients.People are individuals and not a condition!

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  • Juggling Dog

    I agree entirely with Kathryn, and she explained this very well.

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  • Anonymous

    Yes, very true I've come across a lady in her 80's on the ward who actually limited her water intake as she didnt want to bother us nurses with the requests of the commode!! Obviously I educated the lady on her need for fluids and the fact she was no bother at all - as we want a good urine output. Very said when patients worry about our workload than their own selves, obviously we came into nursing well aware & prepared to deal with feacal/urine output & incontinence.

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  • Anonymous

    Im not writing anymore posts as i dont want to bother those who have to read them!

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  • Anonymous

    So will it be okay when I am admitted to hospital next month for me to get up and go to bed when I want, watch tv or use my laptop as long as I want without using headphones as they make my ears itch, take my tablets when I want, eat and drink when I want and have as many visitors as I want?

    Also, if I am bored can I go out for a couple of hours with my visitors?

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  • Anonymous

    5.41 pm

    that's right! be assertive about your own personal needs, put them before all else, remind everybody that you are an individual and wish to maintain your personal autonomy and you will be fine! Best of luck.

    I think most nurses are aware of treating their patients as individuals, with respect, with empathy and with unconditional positive regard! N'est pas?

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  • This is all very well .... all very humanitarian ..... ticks all the empowerment boxes which wicked, lazy nurses and carers will be tempted to infringe. Staying up late and watching TV at all hours is one thing but hoisting a client to the commode every 15 minutes? What level of staffing exists in this marvellous ward/care home where nurse and carers are standing by to instantly respond to the needs of individual clients without regard to either the rights of other clients or the practicalities of doing so??

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  • Anonymous

    the million dollar question!

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  • Anonymous

    I think there has to be promotion of the individual within the limits of the community,like any functioning society. A ward or care home is just a microcosm of society as a whole and there has to be some acceptance of the need to confornto the overall needs of the community.

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  • Phillipe, would you like to pee in a pad when you could use a commode or toilet with assistance?
    I understand from working on wards that numbers of nurses on duty is an issue and also time. It is down to you to put incident forms in if you are not able to assist someone to the toilet because of time and nursing numbers.

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