"My pre op assessments. I have ..."

About: Dorset County Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

My pre op assessments. I have chronic health problems and I felt everything that needed doing was done. I went in for my surgery completely confident that I was in good hands.

What could be improved

I was in the short stay unit and better understanding of how to help a disabled person including how to use basic equipment would have been very helpful. I needed a stool in the shower, (by the way there was mildew and stains all over the shower curtain), & was given an ordinary perching stool. Once wet the stool became very slippery and I very nearly had a nasty accident. My disability affects my mobility and the number of times I was left without access to the bell was a daily occurrence. I would also have benefitted from better charting of my medications. I needed IM drugs to counter my nausea & pain after my op but nothing was written up and the nurse on duty made no attempt to get anything written up. For 4 days my meds from home stayed in the bag they had been brought in - none were locked up. My property was not packed into my locker. I was moved from bay to bay - so many times I lost count. What a waste of nursing time wheeling patients and all their items from one place to another! It seemed as if they tried to disinfect in between patients but you don't need to be an expert to know that some things got missed. There was also the problem of staff not being sure which patient was who. Apart from anything else it was disconcerting & uncomfortable. Can't do much for infection control either. The elderly lady opposite me had diarrhoea for 2 days before it was decided to isolate her which worried me. I would also like to suggest that nursing staff are reminded that they should talk to patients rather than discuss what they did the evening before especially while performing intimate tasks for patients.

Anything else?

The cleaners were very hard working and very kind. Many of the nurses were also very kind but some seemed to lack basic knowledge of disability. A look at such items as grab rails, (some would need one to be a contortionist to use them), shower stools etc, and their siting would also be helpful. Clearly not all patients will be disabled but some will certainly be temporarily disabled after their operations. An offer of help to unpack if someone is clearly going to have problems in that area would be good. Apart from anything else the staff had to keep working around my bag and boots which were on the floor by my bed - ? trip hazard? Clerking and security of drugs need work too. Thought about pain and nausea post surgery would be a good idea, (with regard to the fact that it might be necessary for such meds to be given via injection or IV). Thinking ahead in this area might save patients a lot of time of being in pain while a doctor is soughtm or as in my case not sought when I had been told one had been asked to authorize something to help.

As an aside - last year I was a patient on the stroke ward and drinks rounds only happened on a couple of nurses shifts - this meant that some patients rarely got drinks on a regular basis. This may have been sorted out by now BUT equally might not! My other concern was that equipment such as perching stools in the bathrooms were rarely cleaned between patients and one was in quite a disgusting state and I refused to use it. On my stays in the hospital I have noticed that there is never any offer of help with hygeine - I cannot do things like brush my teeth without help, or wash my back, etc. but unless I bother the staff there is never any offer or check whether I need help with these tasks in the morning and evening.

Should any more detail be of any use I am perfectly happy to be contacted.

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