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Hospital wards

Being transferred to the hospital ward can be a real mixed bag of emotions for patients and families. While ward transfer is a sign of improvement and a step closer to going home, patients and families have to adjust to less monitoring and having fewer staff at close hand. 

Some patients "come to" on the wards, and have to begin to try to make sense of what has happened to them. Common psychological issues include strange dreams, problems sleeping or feeling anxious or low. Patients also become more aware of physical issues such as general weakness, tiredness, mobility problems, etc as they begin to do more for themselves.

In this section, we've provided some general information and advice on common physical and psychological issues issues during the ward stage of recovery, the types of staff involved in your care (who they are and what they do) and what to expect in terms of getting you home. We've also included sections on other people's experiences and frequently asked questions. We hope you find it helpful.

 

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Article: Occupational Therapist

What does an Occupational Therapist do? The Occupational Therapist (or OT) works very closely with the other members of ward staff to make sure that you will be able to look after yourself when you go home. This might involve various assessments to see if you are able to do everyday things like washing and dressing,cooking and managing housework and shopping.They will also help make sure that you have all the help you need when you get there. This might include things like arranging...

External Video: Pacing for Breathlessness

This short clip will explain how a technique known as "pacing" may help feelings of breathlessness. You might also find the booklets on bodily positions to help breathlessness, breathing control and how to conserve your energy helpful in dealing with breathlessness.

External Video: Pacing for Fatigue

This short clip will explain how the technique of pacing may be used to manage any fatigue that you may be experiencing.

External Video: Pacing for Pain

This short clip will explain how pacing your activities may help to manage any pain that you are experiencing.

Document: Pacing information booklet

This booklet about pacing has been written for people with ME or chronic fatigue. However the fatigue that you may be experiencing associated with being in Intensive Care can be managed with pacing in the same way. The booklet contains a wealth of information about the concept of pacing that you can apply to your 'post intensive care fatigue'. 

Article: Paranoia, confusion or behaving out of character

Is it common to have been confused, paranoid or to have behaved out of character? Yes, it is very common.Just as these things are very common in Intensive Care, patients often experience these symptoms in the first few days following transfer to the ward. You may have felt very confused (not quite knowing where you are or why), you may have felt that others were out to harm you (paranoia) or may have behaved completely out of character by perhaps being a little unreasonable, emotional or...

Web Link: Patient experiences of Physiotherapy on the wards

It's very common to have a degree of muscle wasting and general weakness after spending time in Intensive Care, sometimes resulting in por mobility. This is often more of an issue for people who were perhaps a little frail before ending up in Intensive Care, or those who spend longer in Intensive Care. Physiotherapy is a hugely important part of the recovery process.This link will take you to the Healthtalkonline website, and their page on other people's experiences of...

Article: Pharmacist

The pharmacist's main role is to look at the patients' medication and to make sure that everything that's prescribed is appropriate and safe for the patient in terms of the dose, the way it's given, how often it's given and if there are any side effects. It is not uncommon for some of the patient's normal medicines to be stopped when he or she is admitted to Intensive Care, or for new ones to be started.The pharmacist will offer advice on whether or not they...

Document: Physiotherapy and recovery from Intensive Care.pdf

This booket provides information about physiotherapy and exercise during and after a stay in Intensive Care.

Article: Physiotherapy on the ward

What does a physiotherapist do on the ward? Physiotherapy has a very important role in recovery and rehabilitation after Intensive Care. The physiotherapist works very closely with all the other members of the ward staff to make sure that you are recovered enough to cope at home. The two main things that the physiotherapist can help with are breathing exercises and mobility (eg walking). Why might I need to see a physiotherapist after Intensive Care? Some patients still...