In a healthcare setting, patient dignity is just as important as other aspects of patient health and safety. Maintaining dignity is crucial in keeping a good rapport between healthcare professionals and their patients to promote their well-being during treatment.
Here are 5 ways to improve patient dignity:
1. Establish a written policy
In a report entitled “Promoting patient dignity in healthcare settings” and published in “Nursing Standard,” the authors recommended having a written policy or at least guidance on patient dignity. A written policy should ensure medical professionals understand the best practices and procedures for treating patients with self-respect and empowering them while in a healthcare setting.
2. Educate healthcare professionals
In addition to having a written policy, nurses, doctors, and other staff should also be trained in how to handle matters related to dignity. These may include how to provide the proper care for patients with mental health problems or ways to deal with embarrassment related to patient hygiene.
3. Enhance the look and feel of patient gowns
Healthcare providers should look into improving their patient apparel. When patient gowns do not have the proper amount of coverage, leaving patients to feel vulnerable and exposed, patients are likely to have feelings of embarrassment. According to "Managing Moisture, Patient Satisfaction, and Comfort with Technologically Advanced Patient Gowns" white paper, clinical resource experts suggest that the right opacity and coverage can support the dignity of patients as they feel more comfortable and have an adequate amount of coverage. One such example of this is the SOLUS gown by MIP.
4. Respect patient privacy
Another case study called “Patient dignity in an acute hospital setting” found patient privacy was a critical aspect of maintaining patient self-respect and reducing feelings of indignity. The study found that lack of privacy impaired the perception of dignity. When staff provided privacy and showed ways to make them feel comfortable, patients were more likely to feel like they were valued and respected.
5. Pay attention to cultural and patient's rights issues
Finally, nurses should also consider cultural issues when handling patients. In the study, “Patients Dignity in Nursing” published in “Nursing and Midwifery Studies,” cultural issues were brought up as a way to make sure patients and medical professionals had a productive and effective environment.
While still having patient health and safety in mind, medical professionals should also put patient dignity in the forefront to make sure patients are comfortable while in their care. The right training and patient gowns should be key to providing this level of care for all patients. Find out how the SOLUS™ patient gown can help enhance your patient's dignity and comfort: