When a person is acutely ill, they can be very difficult to manage. It is the nursing task to make sure that deluded, hallucinating, overactive, agitated and sometimes distressed people get sufficient sleep, get up in the morning, wash and attend to personal grooming, wear appropriate clothes, eat and drink sufficiently, etc. In addition attempts have to be made to build a relationship with them, foster social contact between patients, engage them in organised activities. At the same time nurses have to ensure that they take their prescribed medication, don’t leave the ward without permission, see various visiting professionals such as psychiatrists, avert or diffuse arguments between patients and prevent them from harming themselves. Often this is in the context of patients being formally detained in hospital under the MHA, not understanding they are ill, and maybe not wanting to be on the ward at all.
This initiative provides some ways to avoid such confrontations, and to work more collaboratively with patients, these are communicated to the team in the following ways:
1. A Message of the Day poster displaying ‘Soft Words’ tips, to be placed in the ward office and regularly changed, preferably daily.
2. Postcards with special hints and messages in an interesting format as a booster.
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