Hospital stays are never pleasant. Whether planned or out of the blue, none of us likes to find ourselves away from home when we’re unwell. When you’re ill, after all, the only thing you want is your bed and home comforts. And, a hospital couldn’t be further from those things you know best.
But, most of us are exposed to hospital stays at some point during our lives. These can be for minor ailments, such as broken bones and chest infections. Or, they could be due to something serious, like a severe accident, or illness which needs treating. Whatever the reason, your stay may become a major source of anxiety for you.
Obviously, the main reason we don’t like hospitals is that they’re not our homes. The constant noise, the smell of disinfectant, and the illness are enough to put us off staying there. But, there’s also a lot of uncertainty when we’re admitted. We’re unsure of the care we’ll receive. We also know that we’ll be meeting a lot of new people, which is not really what we want when we’re not well.
So, to reduce your concern, we’re going to look at the faces you can expect to meet during your hospital stay. Obviously, there will be variations depending on your ailment, but these common characters play a part in any hospital stay.
While you visit a GP for a regular doctor’s appointment, you’ll most likely be attended by a ward doctor in the hospital. Often there’s no difference between qualifications in these two roles. In fact, ward doctors are often also practicing GPs who have been given that duty for the day.
Ward doctors will visit each patient, looking through their notes and doing a quick check on how they’re doing. They usually do rounds once in the morning, and once in the evening. These will be your chance to express any concerns or ask questions you’d like answering. Bear in mind that ward doctors are extremely busy. They may only have ten minutes to spend with you each visit.
We’ve all seen hospital shows where a doctor’s trailed by a gaggle of young students, haven’t we? Well, don’t be alarmed if your ward doctor has just such a following. Trainees gain valuable experience by shadowing a doctor on his rounds. While you may find it disconcerting to be under such scrutiny, remember that you’re doing your bit for future patients. Not to mention the fact that those trainees are likely more afraid of you than you are of them!
Of course, your main point of contact throughout your stay will be nurses. These are the people who will develop a care plan, and be there for you throughout the day and night. Unlike your doctor, there will always be a nurse around. While they may not be able to change your medication, they can make adjustments to keep you comfortable, so never be afraid to speak to them.
The chances are that’ll you’ll come across a few different nurses while you’re there. First, a pre-admission nurse may deal with you. These are nurses who speak to you before you go to a ward. They’ll ask about your medical history, and start developing a care plan from the off. Then, once you’re on a ward, you’ll meet your ward nurses. These are the nurses who will install that care plan and will help you towards recovery.
Though, even within wards, there are varying kinds of nurses, all with different levels of responsibility. There will be a head nurse, who has taken their qualifications further, either at university, or using something like these 100% Online RN to BSN Program. These are the nurses you should look out for if you want to make any major changes. For the most part, though registered nurses will be your first port of call.
The chances are that you’ll also come into contact with ward clerks during your stay. These are the people who take care of the little things that mean a lot on the ward.For the most part, they’re responsible for laundry and cleaning. They often also take on a repair role within the space. While such individuals won’t play any part in your recovery itself, they are another face which is worth adjusting to. Not to mention that you need to keep them happy to ensure you get the best sheets and pillows!
If you’re having an operation, you will also get a visit from your surgeon at some point before surgery. For the most part, this visit will consist of a ten-minute consultation, during which they draw any necessary marks for surgery, and talk to you about any concerns. This can be daunting, but take heart that meeting with your surgeon can go a long way towards putting your mind at ease. Knowing you’re in capable hands is the best way to make surgery more bearable. Plus, this gives you a chance to ask any questions which are plaguing you. Last minute reassurances will be a huge help.
Those in for surgery will also meet their anesthesiologists when they go down for their operation. These are the people who will be responsible for your anaesthetic. The chances are that they’ll do simple checks, such as weighing you and taking your blood pressure. That way, they can ensure they get the anaesthetic correct. They’ll also work towards putting you at ease as you prep for surgery.
And, of course, this breakdown wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the other patients. These are likely to become your primary source of comfort, as they’re in the same boat as you. If you’re on a specialised ward, the chances are that you’ll be surrounded by people with the same issue as yourself. This can be incredibly comforting, as you can all exchange notes and take strength from each other. Even on a generalised ward, a ward mate camaraderie is likely to occur.