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How do they do it?

(36 Posts)
Indinana Tue 16-May-17 04:19:32

I'm in a ward of 6 beds. On my right is a woman who is snoring loudly. On my left is a woman wired up to a machine which intermittently, and regularly, sounds a continuous beeping alarm. If a staff member is available (usually after at least 5 minutes of this alarm sounding) they will come and attend to it. At 12.45 a doctor had to visit the patient in the bed opposite me - the dr was speaking in a whisper, but the patient talked in her normal voice with no attempt to lower it.
At 2.00 I had my blood pressure taken (needless to say I was awake anyway!). At 3.00, having literally just fallen asleep for the first time tonight, I was awoken by the sound of a group of 3 to 4 staff in a nearby room having a lengthy conversation while changing someone's bed. No attempt whatever to lower their voices!.
All around me patients are sound asleep. Which brings me to the question in the thread title: How do they do it? Has everyone been given a knock out sleeping tablet except me?
Anyway, I've given up, raised my back rest, asked for a cuppa, and got on t'internet. I'm gonna sleep tomorrow when I get home!

Indinana Tue 16-May-17 04:25:40

Oh and add to all this the fact that in the one section of the ward that is immediately opposite the nurses' station, so throughout the night staff are talking to each other there.
And the beeping has just started up again angry

Indinana Tue 16-May-17 04:26:19

Sorry that should read 'I'm in the one section.....'

Jane10 Tue 16-May-17 06:21:20

You poor thing! That sounds awful. I hope you have a wonderful deep sleep when you're back home.

Pippa000 Tue 16-May-17 06:30:31

Ditto your experience. I was in hospital over new year for five days and five very long sleepless nights. When I was nursing I was always told that sleep was a natural healer and everything possible was done to ensure patients (on a 30 bedded Nightingale ward, with wooden floor boards) got a decent nights sleep, not necessarily using sleeping tablets either. This meant, for example, talking very quietly when talking was necessary, certainly no pushing of trolleys, shoes had to be soft soled etc. I do understand that machinery these days has alarms on, and a good job too, however it would help if they were not left continually ringing for up to ten minutes, in my experience, before the nursing staff I saw chatting, with cups, in hand answered them. And before any one mentions staff shortages, on a typical nights I would have one care assistant with me all night, and one student or trained nurse till midnight, another student or trained nurse came on at six to help with the morning procedures.

grannyqueenie Tue 16-May-17 06:43:57

If I was in hospital I would be like you, Indinana, I have enough trouble dropping off and staying asleep in my own bed! Once on an overnight train journey from London to Aberdeen I was surrounded by passengers, mouth open and snoring loudly, I'm the same on a long haul flight - wide awake and, like you, wondering how they do it!
Hope you've managed a power nap or two since you last posted and don't feel too grim today and recover well once you get home.

Anya Tue 16-May-17 07:16:33

Sounds awful Indiana - I hope you put this in writing to the hospital after your discharge so that things that ought not disturb sleep, such as staff talking loudly, can be dealt with. Then other patients won't have to suffer as you have.

Indinana Tue 16-May-17 07:33:04

I did manage to drop off about 4.30 - sheer exhaustion allowed me to cope with the beeps and snoring at last! Then the meds trolley came round at 6.00, so here I am awake again.
Good point Anya, but in truth the majority of the time the staff were quiet - it was just this one time changing the bed for someone in a single room opposite our bay. And rather than actually close the door (how obvious?) they just pulled the curtains round. It could well be that the patient was hard of hearing. Being generous here wink
And I am a light sleeper, so nurses talking quietly at their station, only 5m away, is enough to keep me awake.

mollie Tue 16-May-17 08:18:37

I had a similar experience last year, that week was both the most painful and the most sleepless experience of my life. On the night I was admitted I must have managed to doze off only to be woken up by a nurse to complete an admission questionnaire. I looked at the clock and it was 3.25 am!

Hope you're home soon and feeling better Indinana flowers

Christinefrance Tue 16-May-17 08:34:21

Hope you are home soon and resting in your own bed Mollie
Get well soon flowers

harrigran Tue 16-May-17 08:36:46

I had the same experience when I was in hospital last year. I told anyone that would listen that it was sleep deprivation torture. Apart from the machines beeping I was on hourly observations, I wore earplugs but the nurse would remove them to take my temperature and drop them so no chance of a bit of hush after that. I like the way the staff offer to pull your curtain as if that shut out their loud voices.
Indinana Your return home will result in the sweetest sleep you can imagine. flowers for you because I could not find a medal, which you deserve.

Indinana Tue 16-May-17 08:58:05

Thank you all for the lovely flowers and good wishes. And for the medal 'thought' harrigran smile

wildswan16 Tue 16-May-17 09:59:11

Sleep is one of the best healers - which makes it really strange that hospitals are one of the hardest places to get any. This thread has made me determined to get a good set of ear plugs to add to my "emergency" bag. (A bag I keep a nightie, toothbrush etc in case I get admitted unexpectedly. I live alone and my son would never be able to find what I need if he had to pick stuff from my home).

Caroline123 Tue 16-May-17 10:07:52

It seems that all hospital wards are like this today and it's not right.
It must be kill or cure! No sleep is torture, and I for one worry that I'll have to go into hospital and endure this torture when I'm ill.
I also worry as I get older that I will be made to stay if my husband is no longer there to support me at home.
Can I add to this that many years ago I was a qualified nurse so feel justified to have theses fears.

inishowen Tue 16-May-17 10:08:45

I am a snorer and I tried to stay awake when I was in hospital because I dreaded keeping people awake. However the drugs they'd given me, made me sleep anyway. When my daughter in law had her baby there was a snorer in the ward. The nurse went to her bed and gave it a huge shake! The snorer got such a fright and didn't know what happened!

Kim19 Tue 16-May-17 10:59:47

I had a similar experience last year. Difficult indeed but I was so grateful to be in a place where I felt safe and that I was being helped that I put up with it in the knowledge (hope?!) that I would be able to redress the balance and do catch up when I got home. Complain? NEVER! At the end of the day I was restored to health and strength in a shortish period. Let the chatterers and other people more poorly than me make their noise. No it's not even remotely pleasant but we are catering for the masses and I think I've been satisfied thus far......warts and all.

Hollycat Tue 16-May-17 11:16:17

I got up and went down to the to lounge! The MAN in the bed opposite didn't use his bell to summon the nurse, he simply ran his walking stick backwards and forwards on the radiator. The beds had been crammed into the small ward so we were out of sinc with the lights above, so instead of shadow had bright lights in my eyes. The woman two beds down insisted on singing hymns most of the night and the nurses hissed at her to be quiet. I just picked up a blanket and went and sat in an armchair. They got excited and said I must sleep. I agreed and asked how to turn the lights out in the lounge. A nurse did it for me but came and got me before sister did her rounds. My mother always said "you don't go into hospital for a rest". Boy, was she right!

Caro1954 Tue 16-May-17 11:17:41

I had a foot operation recently and the thing I worried most about was having to stay in overnight - imagine my delight when they said I would be treated as a day patient. Imagine my despair when the (lovely) anaesthetist came before the op and said they'd had a trauma patient and as I was last on the list I might have to be admitted! And my fear was being kept awake all night - for one night! What a wimp. You have all my sympathy Indinana and my very best wishes for a speedy recovery and lots of restoring sleep! I'm with Kim19 and would never complain unless I believed someone was guilty of negligence - in my case I don't think I could have had better care.

GrannyA11i Tue 16-May-17 11:23:09

My mum lives in fear of being admitted again because of the way it is just like everyone describes. I understand they have to do obs but the nurses don't have to shout to each other down the corridor or laugh hysterically in the middle of the night. I was in for a knee replacement and the first night needed to bleep for toilet assistance at 4am ish. When I returned to bed all the other ladies where awake - I felt terrible but there wasn't an alternative as after being on a drip I was desperate!

Lillie Tue 16-May-17 11:24:47

DH experienced this type of sleep deprivation and asked to be transferred to a private hospital with his own room. The difference in his recovery was amazing, so I agree that all the noise you are experiencing Indinana isn't helping at all. Hope you can up soon on some rest.

Lillie Tue 16-May-17 11:30:00

Sorry ..... catch up

Nelliemoser Tue 16-May-17 11:36:52

It really is hard to avoid bad nights. If you or other patients are unwell they need care which might disrupt others.
I did an overnight about 3 yrs ago on a surgical ward. It was very busy but the worst thing was the bloody pump on the inflatable antiblood clot stocking machines.

The vibrations of the pump rattling the bed frame made me feel sick. I can't cope with such noises without feeling awful. Key cutting etc rattles my brain. Rocking boats do it as well. No sea legs at all.

sarahellenwhitney Tue 16-May-17 11:50:57

Out of interest did DH have to pay for his private room due to sleep deprivation or was this a courtesy on the part of the NHS.

Cherrytree59 Tue 16-May-17 12:13:26

Oh dear Indinana .
I wish you all the best and fingers crossed you will be home soon to your own bed.

We only appreciate our comfy bed when we are kipping somewhere else smile

Juliette Tue 16-May-17 12:36:42

Cotton wool in the ears cuts out the worst of the noise. Not for everybody I know but desperate times need desperate measures.