What patients wish for in hospitals

Let me sleep, and Oh, please knock on my door when entering.

Becker’s Hospital Review alerted me to the work of Peter Pronovost of  The Johns Hopkins. He recently reviewed patient surveys and with Jane Hill compiled the top ten wishes of hospital inpatients.

  1. Let me sleep. Do not take vitals throughout the night or draw blood between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless it is critical. If it is critical, please make sure I understand. My sleep helps me recover and feel better.
  2. Keep the noise levels down at the nurses’ station. This is so important – especially at night when my sleep is needed. Turn off the TV, radio, computer screen, etc., at night in my room, so there’s not a glare or noise that can disturb my sleep.
  3. Don’t lose my personal belongings. Take an inventory and label everything with my name and medical record numberso my personal belongings do not get misplaced. These belongings are an extension of me and make me feel more at ease. Taking care of my stuff feels like you are taking care of me.
  4. Knock on the door before entering. This shows respect for me as an individual and my privacy. Introduce yourself to me, and shake hands or make eye contact when you do this. Call me by my preferred name (formal or first name).
  5. Please keep my white board current and up to date. It gives me a quick reference of who is caring for me and my daily plan. Provide a notebook at the bedside so I can keep all my important papers, cards from my health care team and other staff, etc. in one place. Please make sure my name and my location (nursing unit, room number and room phone) are listed on the front.
  6. Update me and my family if you notice changes in my condition. Keep communication open. Please keep me informed of delays. It lessens my anxiety during an already stressful time.
  7. Keep my room clean – mop the floors every day, wipe surfaces to prevent the spread of germs, empty my wastebasket and keep my bathroom really clean so it even smells clean. If you are my housekeeper, please introduce yourself to me and say hello. I like to know who is taking care of me.
  8. Listen to me and engage me in my care. Use plain language, and make sure I understand my plan of care.
  9. Please orient me to my room and the hospital, so I know where important things are located, how to work the television, how to order food and when my linens may be changed. I am a guest here and don’t know these things, yet these are important to me.
  10. Please maintain professionalism in ALL areas of the hospital. While you may be on your break, you are still a hospital employee and a reflection of the hospital. How I perceive you is often how I perceive the hospital and care that I am receiving.

The original article was published by US News & World Report – Health.

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