Bay of Plenty also encouraging patients out of their PJs

Last month Tauranga Hospital staff donned their PJs as Bay of Plenty District Health Board too joined the international #endPJparalysis movement.

Rosie Winters, an Older Adult Nurse Practitioner, said staff got in their pyjamas to launch their Let’s Get Moving campaign. “We wanted to start a conversation about the impact even a few days’ bed rest can have on reducing muscle strength and increasing the risk of complications for patients, particularly for older patients in hospital,” said Winters.

Key themes of the week included a focus on getting patients dressed in their normal clothes again as soon as possible and staying active. Patient feedback was very positive and the experience of wearing pyjamas to work proved thought-provoking for staff.

“One of our staff said how unmotivated she felt because she was wearing her pyjamas,” said Winters. “It brings home the psychology of clothes. We’ve used this as an opportunity to talk to patients about being conscious of their activity levels each day.

“With patients, once they come in and change into gowns they tend to retract into a passive role. For the older person even a few days’ bed rest can cause a rapid decline in muscle strength and lead to an increased stay in hospital and complications.”

The Bay of Plenty Let’s Get Moving campaigns is based on the #endPJparalysis movement co-founded by Christchurch-based nurse and consultant Brian Dolan.

The #endPJparalysis movement was started early this year by Dolan, who spends part of the year based in the UK, and his Irish business partner as a twitter hashtag linking twitter conversations on the topic of getting older patients up and dressed.

The West Coast DHB was the first DHB to get behind the movement, with medical ward clinical nurse manager Rose Kennedy saying it provided a framework for medical wards like her own to support a restorative model of care and hadn’t added to the nursing workload, just reshaped it.


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