A colleague at work introduced me to this talk and it was this line that inspired tonight’s occhat.
“It is the image of myself in a hospital gown homogenised, anonymous, powerless; no longer myself.”
So tonight’s chat I am calling ‘Ban the Gown’ and thought we could explore the occupation of being in hospital. So really it is less about the gown itself but what that symbolises in terms of dignity and being seen as an occupational being.
Now, being in academia, it’s a few years since I worked on a ward but do you still see people dressed in hospital gowns in bed most of the day, or perhaps sat out in the chair? Do day rooms or communal areas exist at all? If so how are they used?
Drawing upon your own experiences of being in hospital or from what you’ve observed consider the following:
When do ward rounds take place nowadays, still early in the morning? How confident do you feel talking to others or standing up for your rights in your nightclothes?
How does a person’s occupational identity change when they are admitted to hospital?
How does their routine change? What roles do they lose or gain? What about the hospital routine might enable people to take on the ‘sick role’? Does this matter?
What about the transition between hospital and home? What occupations might it be useful for people to reclaim independence with before discharge?
Now I’m not saying we ignore things like health and safety (e.g. drug security) and I’m certainly not saying that people don’t need a little TLC from time to time (I certainly was grateful of it during my stint in hospital) but I guess it is really the last question that I’m most interested in, how can we use occupations to ease the transition into and out of hospital?
At the end of the chat I’d love to hear if there are any ideas that you’ve picked up that you are thinking of taking back to practice.
See you tonight – 8-9pm BST on #occhat