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What small acts of dignity have made a difference to your healthcare experiences?

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,071

Scope community team

edited February 3 in Coffee lounge

Today (3 February 2021) is officially Dignity Action Day.  An annual event described by the Dignity in Care campaign as, “an… opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people's rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people who use care services.”.

A nurse giving a man an injection in the arm

What does dignity in care look like?

Dignity is a complex word with many different interpretations.  One definition published on this Nursing Times article, describes it as,
“a fundamental human right. It is about feeling and/or being treated and regarded as important and valuable in relation to others”.
Applying these principles to care, the Dignity in Care team advise practitioners should:
1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family
3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
6. Respect people's right to privacy
7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners
9. Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
10. Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation

What experiences of dignity in healthcare have you had?

Looking back over the times I’ve been in hospital, I’ve found the smaller gestures of dignity to have had most impact at the time on my care.  Some personal examples include:
• A nurse holding my hand during a colonoscopy and rubbing my arm when I was in pain.   
• A consultant taking the time to draw me a picture of my intestine to help explain what was happening inside my gut and exactly where.
• Simply being asked, ‘But, how are you?’ rather than questions concentrated on the functioning of my bowel.

Over to you:

What examples of dignity in care have you encountered?
What do you appreciate most from the care-team who look after you?

Let us know in the comments below :)

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  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,363 Disability Gamechanger
    As a carer in the community  little things like closing the curtains when personal care is being under taken  when washing a service user in a chair or on the bed cover the parts you aren't washing 

    When visitors are visiting to ask if the service user would like them to go into another room whilst carrying out their care as we are in someone else's house  permission is required 

    To always ask for permission to throw food items away unless they are deemed not to have  capacity to make this decision which would be in their care plan 

    To always observe a service users human rights  always listen to what a service user says to you as it maybe important later on 

    The list is long but that is just a few 
  • CressCress Member Posts: 498 Pioneering
    I was always grateful to the midwives who manhandled my then husband out of the delivery room, so I could sit atop one of those egg box type commode and let the enenema they'd given me take effect....and all through the noises and god knows what odours, they chatted about the telly without seeming in the slightest perturbed...
  • coylygirlcoylygirl Member Posts: 275 Pioneering
    The home treatment team came out for the first time on Tuesday.  I was very twitch due to mania and anxiety and to top it all of I had run out of bacci. I'm too nervous to leave the house alone at the moment.  The worker offered to pick me some up which went above and beyond  :)
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,071

    Scope community team

    Aww lovely examples, thanks everyone.

    The random chat during procedures does make me laugh, you can feel in the most 'exposed' of situations and be talking about your pets or what's on TV.  It's a great subtle technique the medical staff use to alleviate nerves and has worked wonders for me.  
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    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,358 Pioneering
    A team recognising that a procedure I had to undergo would be more complex due to my Cerebral Palsy and doing all they could to make it as comfortable as possible. They also knew when the time was right to stop the examination. There were brilliant at supporting me as they explained the diagnosis to me. Thank you. 
  • 11190821119082 Posts: 258 Member
    talking to others 
  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 841 Pioneering
    A huge shout out to all the Porters. I have had quite a few operations over the years and all the hospital porters have been really lovely. Trying to lift the patients' spirits when they are on their way to theatre. 
  • AnniAnni Member Posts: 17 Connected
    An anaesthetist holding my hand when I was scared of having an anaesthetic as a child.

    As a teenager I had to have undissolved stitches taken out of my eye. The anaesthetic drops didn’t work but they went ahead anyway. I had the same surgery done 3 years ago and freaked when the stitches didn’t dissolve again. The surgeon apologised for what happened to me as a teenager even though he hadn’t been involved and was so kind and gentle that he had  the stitches out without me realising he’d done it.
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 134 Pioneering
    for me it is being treated as mentally capable - so many see me in my wheelchair and try to infantilise me - so it is asking if I need help, asking if I need a commode or can get to the loo rather than just bringing a bedpan, talking to me as an adult and if I ask for a simpler explanation giving me a simpler adult one, not a child's one, giving me the time I need and not rushing me which is more likely to cause me to have an accident - so many of the small softer skills that are essential to the role of care, nurse or Dr.

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