Wardipedia – 64. Money

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Poor no more? Introduction Patients are often very distressed or distracted about money problems. For some people, money problems may be the original source of stress and a key contributing factor in their illness; for others, their illness may make them more likely to worry about finances. The current (2012) prospect of savage cuts to […]

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Wardipedia – 65. Pointless national days

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Happy Pointless National Day! Introduction And what a choice you have. There’s National Donald Duck day, National Chip week (clearly too important to restrict to a single day) and (Jewish) Marion’s favourite –  Hug a Jew day. (She hasn’t yet been able to persuade her therapist that this is the one day of the year […]

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Wardipedia – 15. Sanctuaries

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Rooms that soothe not seclude Introduction Sensory rooms began as comforting and/or stimulating spaces for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities but, happily, are becoming increasingly popular for other patients needing a gentle, calming environment. And now that seclusion rooms are, fortunately, being phased out of most wards, sensory rooms are a much more […]

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Wardipedia – 67. Ward culture of empathy

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Tea and empathy Introduction Mental health inpatient care is rooted in empathy – the ability to share in another’s emotions. This is the personal quality, and professional skill, that is most cherished by patients (but sometimes difficult to maintain when under intense and sustained pressure). Arguably, all the 77 ideas have empathy at their heart, […]

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Wardipedia – 13. Bingo and jigsaws

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Gentle adventure Introduction Bingo is a much mocked activity – apart from those who enjoy it, for whom it is very rightly a cherished oasis of distraction, excitement and socialising.  It remains a staple of many hospital activity programmes, particularly for older patients, and we’d like to warmly endorse this. Studies of elderly people in […]

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Wardipedia – 10. Creative communicating

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It’s all improv. Introduction It’s sometimes difficult enough to have conversations with patients when they’re in a relatively good mental state. It can feel overwhelmingly daunting to connect with people who have additional communication difficulties, whether through cognitive impairment (eg dementia or learning disability) or overwhelming emotional states (eg paranoia). Creative communicating makes best use […]

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Wardipedia – 09. Engagement is the thing

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Time well spent Introduction More and more wards are moving away from the traditional, very passive (and generally disliked by patients!) practice of ‘observing’ patients as a primary way of trying to keep the ward safe. They feel that using the term and perfecting the practice of ‘engaging’ with patients is much more constructive, and […]

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