Stories from the Royal College of Nursing quality improvement programme
The Royal College of Nursing’s quality improvement programme seeks to work with healthcare professionals to improve the quality of patient care. These stories have been gathered as part of the ‘Improving continence care in care homes’ and ‘Perioperative fasting’ projects, but they touch on universal issues of dignity, respect, trust and equity.
She always liked to feel useful
Care for frail, elderly people, especially if there are continence issues, can be careless or careful. Sue recalls the full life her mother led and acknowledges her need to feel useful.
Getting to the bottom of things
Jean has rheumatoid arthritis. Her husband’s tender care extends to seeing to her personal needs – in marked contrast with the personal care she receives in hospital.
Where do you draw the line?
It can be difficult to balance respecting the privacy of patients with the need to offer appropriate care. Trust and good communication may help in deciding where to draw this delicate line.
An open-door policy
When an elderly woman asks to have the toilet door left open, Joanne reflects on issues of trust and wonders whether the way we reassure our children might inform the way we care for elderly people.
Nil by mouth
Inconsistency, confusion and lack of adherence to perioperative fasting guidelines make a patient’s journey a thirsty one…
I wouldn’t have started from here
Travelling on trains can be difficult for a person with Parkinson’s. Sheila’s upbeat approach encourages a positive response that helps ease her journey through life.
A simple solution allows an elderly woman with Parkinsons to regain her independence.
Christmas with Mum
Ian has found that planning and anticipation are the keys to happy and uneventful Christmases with a mum who has Parkinson’s Disease… and remembering that the look in her eyes can convey the joy that her facial expressions no longer show.
Out of reach
A simple oversight leaves a post-operative patient unable to obtain pain relief or alert staff to her condition.
Roy’s wife, Mary, has dementia. Roy finds himself changing Mary, and the bedclothes, often several times a night …and then discovers that Mary has hidden the soiled pads in obscure places around the house.