Raising awareness with pyjamas

LET’S GET MOVING: Staff at the Whakatane Hospital wore pyjamas to work on Wednesday to help raise awareness about the negative effects of spending long periods of time in bed. Photo supplied

MORE than 30 hospital staff at Whakatane Hospital were in their pyjamas on Wednesday, raising awareness about the debilitating impact on patients of spending long periods in bed.
Nurses, doctors, allied health and support staff were wearing their pyjamas as part of the Let’s Get Moving campaign.

“Research shows just a few days in bed can reduce muscle strength and increase the risk of complications, particularly for our frail older patients,” said medical ward nurse manager Vivienne Robertson. “And that can lead to a longer stay in hospital.”

Based on the UK #endPJparalysis movement, the “Let’s Get Moving” campaign saw staff from Whakatane Hospital’s emergency department, acute care, medical and surgical wards as well as Allied Health and support staff wearing their nightwear.

“Traditionally people think if they’re in hospital they must stay in bed,” she said. “We need to shift that mindset and, as soon as possible, encourage our patients to get out of their pyjamas and up out of bed as part of supporting our patients to get well.

“Wearing your pjs all day does seem to have an impact on how you feel. Staff wearing their pjs today commented that it’s made them feel vulnerable, their dignity is compromised. So, you can imagine how our sick patients feel.

“PJs say you’re unwell, clothes say you’re getting better.”

Did you know?

  •  For people over 80, spending 10 days in bed ages their muscles by 10 years.
  • Just 24 hours of bed-rest reduces your muscle power by 2.5 percent and not just in your arms and legs but in your heart and lungs.
  • Older adults living at home typically take 900 steps per day but in hospital most patients only take 250 steps per day.

What can be done?

The Let’s Get Moving campaign aims to help prevent deconditioning in frail older patients by encouraging them to:

  • Get up – spend less time on the bed and to eat meals while sitting in a chair.
  • Get dressed – get changed into comfortable day clothes.
  • Get moving – walk to the bathroom and regularly around the ward.