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Hospital bed curtains

(280 Posts)
CurtainsAllowed Thu 14-Jun-18 08:59:31

Is it frowned upon to keep them shut?

Just had surgery, was in a LOT of pain (thankfully being managed now) and I am constantly being asked if I want my curtains around my bed opened.

I feel and look horrendous and am absolutely not ready to be having a chat with anyone else on the ward.
I just want to be left alone

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Thu 14-Jun-18 09:02:10

Ime staff like them open to observe you incase of any issues.
I had a migraine after a section and a lovely cleaner kept closing them for me!

SwayingInTime Thu 14-Jun-18 09:03:01

It's to keep an eye on you in case you were to become unwell but I have pretty much given up on my ward (generally fit and well population). I sometimes dream of a long old fashioned Nightingale ward with lots of light and space and everyone sat up in matching nighties where I can see them!

ShapelyBingoWing Thu 14-Jun-18 09:05:30

Not frowned upon as such but you stop your nurse from being able to easily see that you're OK. And if you're in a bay, you may be obstructing their view to people further up the bay to you too. Feeling horrendous post surgery is something I'm familiar with flowers but it's also very hood reason for them wanting a direct line of sight to you.

CurtainsAllowed Thu 14-Jun-18 09:07:47

I'm just a bit embarrassed because I was screaming out in pain last night
Don't want to make eye contact with the poor people I've kept awake

Freaklikemeee Thu 14-Jun-18 09:08:02

You won't be allowed to keep them shut at night as the staff need a clear view down the ward.

divadee Thu 14-Jun-18 09:09:33

I have had a curtain war with a non clinical member of staff when I was in hospital.

She kept pulling them back as the lady opposite wanted to look around the ward. I have a phobia of hospitals and I need to almost be cocooned to try and cope with the anxiety. I don't want people staring at me. In the end I went to the nurse and asked to be discharged. They said it was against medical advise and asked me why I wanted to leave. I explained and amazingly the curtains were never touched again.

Orangesox Thu 14-Jun-18 09:11:35

Exactly this ^^

I completely appreciate that you feel like crap and want to be left alone, but if you close your curtains then the nurse or healthcare assistant will need to come in and out regularly to check on you and your bay-mates... potentially disturbing you more than just having the curtains open and having a nap.

If you’re post surgery (and possibly on opiates given the pain you describe) I’d much rather be able to keep a watchful (but not oppressive) eye on you from a distance incase of deterioration.

I do hope you’re feeling better soon flowers

Foggymist Thu 14-Jun-18 09:13:51

I used to let them leave about a 10 inch gap in the curtain so they could see me easily when passing but I didn't have to interact with anybody, I wanted to sit in peace and cry (pregnant/labour/baby related) and wasn't opening them for anybody.

CurtainsAllowed Thu 14-Jun-18 09:14:19

It's just for a little while. I haven't slept all night and I just need a little bit of privacy. But I understand the safety aspect.
I just want to have a little cry in peace

CurtainsAllowed Thu 14-Jun-18 09:16:08

And other patients keep trying to talk to me. Which I know is well intended but I can't deal with it right now

MollyHuaCha Thu 14-Jun-18 09:18:07

Keep them shut!

Freaklikemeee Thu 14-Jun-18 09:18:58

Give up your 'well' notions of privacy and dignity and you'll be fine.
The staff have seen it all many times before, and the other patients don't give a shit.
The highlight of my recent hospital stay was a constipated woman a few beds down from me attempting to have a poo into a bedpan, assisted by the house doctor and the ward sister. The sounds coming from her were the type one would associate with someone giving birth. The other patients around her were shouting encouragement and one said loudly, "We'd better see a baby after all this."

expatinscotland Thu 14-Jun-18 09:21:49

Keep them shut!

reallybadidea Thu 14-Jun-18 09:23:58

Lots of new hospitals are being built with single-occupancy rooms. If nurses being able to see their patients easily is so important, how is this allowed?

reallybadidea Thu 14-Jun-18 09:26:28

The highlight of my recent hospital stay was a constipated woman a few beds down from me attempting to have a poo into a bedpan, assisted by the house doctor and the ward sister.

That poor woman sad People shouldn't have to give up their dignity when they go into hospital.

x2boys Thu 14-Jun-18 09:29:40

that took me back a bit @SwayingInTime when i first started my training 25 years agoshock my first placement was on an old fashioned nightengale ward smile

SnuggyBuggy Thu 14-Jun-18 09:30:15

It depends on the ward. When I was on the antenatal and postnatal ward the beds seemed to be almost treated as if they were separate rooms with no expectation of curtains being open and staff doing regular rounds to each bed.

IHaveBrilloHair Thu 14-Jun-18 09:30:19

I wa in my own room in single room hospital last with, often with the door shut.
Keep your curtains shut if that's what makes you more comfortable

kaitlinktm Thu 14-Jun-18 09:31:37

The highlight of my recent hospital stay was a constipated woman a few beds down from me attempting to have a poo into a bedpan, assisted by the house doctor and the ward sister. The sounds coming from her were the type one would associate with someone giving birth. The other patients around her were shouting encouragement and one said loudly, "We'd better see a baby after all this.

OMG - are we not allowed any privacy or dignity any more? This sounds dreadful - poor woman.

MatildaTheCat Thu 14-Jun-18 09:32:47

Reallybadidea the reality of wards made up of single rooms is that patients see a lot less of the nursing staff than on a larger ward. If a nurse wants to do a quick check on her patients in a six bed bay they can walk through and have a quick chat/ look. It takes very much longer to pop into six single rooms.

OP, keep the curtains shut for a while and have a rest but it is generally easier all round if they aren’t closed all day. It can also, depending on your position in the ward, cause other patients to feel a bit hemmed in.

Get well soon.

SwayingInTime Thu 14-Jun-18 09:33:48

I work near the birthplace of the nhs so we have big pictures of them on the walls of the corridor where I work. They look like they would save so much time doing checks that the care would be much better. I am imagining cocoa rounds and all sorts!

expatinscotland Thu 14-Jun-18 09:34:31

The OP isn't there to make life easier for the staff or other patients.

SO glad a lot of these wards are being phased out.

caoraich Thu 14-Jun-18 09:36:32

Actually as an HCP I think you're right. All the new hospitals near me have single rooms so it's not some sort of requirement that you're visible. Yes it's a bit of a pest to have to go into each individually but imo it's better for patient dignity. They will need to keep popping in to check you're ok but I don't think that's a reason to feel obliged to open the curtains! Could you ask to be moved to the end of the bay so the curtains aren't blocking the view of people further down? Just say you got a terrible nights sleep and want to keep the area around you as dark as possible. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Orangesox Thu 14-Jun-18 09:37:18

Single occupancy rooms have their place - end of life care and barrier nursing of patients with infectious diseases at the very least.

Ask the nurse caring for you to pull the curtains around and leave a small observation gap so you’re not disturbed frequently with faffing of curtains and general noise making. They should communicate this preference to the other staff. I’d prefer to be able to see you at a glance being post operative, but if we can come to a compromise I’d always seek to meet your wishes when I worked in surgery.

You have my sympathies - I was in with kidney stones last week and would’ve loved nothing more than to crawl into the corner and wallow. Please for the love of god take all the pain relief you’ve been prescribed and be kind to yourself right now.

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