Wardipedia – 37. Arriving and leaving

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All my bags are packed Introduction Our first moments in a new environment are disproportionately important in setting the tone for the rest of the experience. Especially when the new environment is one that carries considerable anxiety or even terror. There are few times in life when we are sent somewhere against our will or […]

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Wardipedia – 49. Graduated self-medication

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Managing my meds myself Introduction When patients return home, especially if they’re living relatively independently, they need to be able to manage their medication. Being in hospital is the perfect opportunity to refine this skill, and to learn about any new medication they might have been prescribed. As we describe below, taking medication ‘the right […]

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Wardipedia – 50. Electronic access

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Open Sesame! Introduction There is considerable controversy about what to do about enabling patients to have appropriate access to their bedroom and the outside world, while minimising risks. There is a totally simple solution – patients having fobs, wristbands, swipe-cards or the equivalent electronic device. These can be programmed for individuals’ rooms, the ward door, […]

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Wardipedia – 51. Personalising bedrooms

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Introduction Let’s face it, inpatient bedrooms can be smelly, dull and impersonal. Patient stay lengths vary but while they’re on the ward, it’s pretty much home for them. As if feeling unwell wasn’t enough to cope with, being away from family and friends and their normal life can make things a million times worse. So […]

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Wardipedia – 57. Friends, relatives and carers

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Since you been gone Introduction Even patients’ warmest relationships with staff can’t provide what mates and mums can – not least for obvious reasons of appropriate boundaries! Being in hospital, and specifically a mental health hospital, makes contact with friends and family very welcome for most patients. The hugs, the concern, the latest anecdotes about […]

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Wardipedia – 60. Ward website

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E-wards Introduction Ideally your hospital/Trust will have a fantastic website – informative, easy to navigate, reassuring, honest, colourful, attractive…. But even if they don’t, it should be possible to set up your own ward website. Well, the easy bit is finding a free DIY website builders such as Weebly. The challenge will be to convince […]

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Wardipedia – 61. Kids visiting

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Hugs, Harry Potter and hoodies Introduction Everyone wants children to have good experiences and memories of a hospital visit, to help them and the people they’re visiting enjoy this time and manage the enforced separation a bit more easily. Children can feel isolated, abandoned, confused and afraid when their parent goes into hospital, and wards […]

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Wardipedia – 18. Landscape pictures

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Bright outlook Introduction “Landscape paintings reduce anxiety and need for medication.” This is a corker. It is so simple, cheap, therapeutic, calorie-free, evidence-based. What’s not to like? We’ve seen some beautiful landscape paintings and photos on wards around the country; perhaps one of the therapeutic benefits is from the conversations that realistic and relaxing pictures […]

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Wardipedia – 66. Good news

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Media myth-busting Introduction There’s too much inaccurate, unhelpful and stigma-reinforcing stuff in the media about mentally ill people and not nearly enough about their achievements and those of staff whose skill and commitment contribute to these. The good news is that ward staff can help change public opinion about mental illness and about inpatient care! […]

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