Wardipedia – 38. Patients birthdays

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Make a wish! Introduction This is a simple one! We think it’s really important that birthdays are celebrated on the ward, if the patient wishes. Wishing of course being a birthday theme. Although we’re including here quite a few thought starter ideas for ward birthday parties, they don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Simply […]

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Wardipedia – 48. Advance Statements

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Planning ahead Introduction Whether they’re called, Advance Directives, Advance Statements , Advance Decisions or, frankly anything along these lines, it is highly beneficial to have information about their care preferences from patients when they are in a good mental state to provide it. The legal situation is that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 gives people […]

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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 – 52. Physical health

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Hearts and Minds Introduction The connection between physical and mental health is well documented. If you’re mentally ill, chances are you may well also have poor physical health. Sadly, on average people suffering from severe mental illness die significantly younger than the general population – between 8 and 20 year depending on circumstances, and which […]

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Wardipedia – 55. Brain

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Understanding brain pain Introduction It’s not one of the more glamorous looking parts of our innards. Woody Allen famously remarked that his brain is his second favourite organ. Being an inpatient is, for many, an excellent opportunity to learn more about their brain and its relationship with their mental illness. We find it surprising that […]

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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 – 59. Social media

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Keep clicking! Introduction In the old days, patients may have turned up fully armed with a pen and some paper. Nowadays their bags can contain mobile phones, smart phones with full internet access, ipads, laptops, e-readers (which might also have internet access). Thus equipped, patients are able to continue to their daily social, work, leisure, […]

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Wardipedia – 16. Spirituality

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Keeping the faith Introduction The varied and creative examples of how wards meet patients’ spiritual and religious needs (see below) illustrate that this is yet another area where inpatient staff try energetically to make patients’ admissions as meaningful and therapeutic as possible. These efforts are essential for reasons of: Therapeutic outcomes Regulatory compliance Safety Patient […]

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