Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Robe

Isn't there a blockbuster movie of long ago with a biblical reference called "The Robe"? I may be wrong, but anyway - this post is not about that.

I am here today to expound on the virtures of robes.

As in, why is it that people (patients) do not bring a robe to the hospital anymore?

Everyday, I bear witness to this phenomenon. Scores of patients are walking up and down the halls of the hospital not wearing robes. A few might grab an extra gown and wear it backwards simulating a robe (which is a definite Glamour Don't, by the way, but I suppose it is better than nothing), but the vast majority traipse around in just a hospital gown. Some even go downstairs - and out the door - to smoke a cigarette. (That's a topic for another day.)

I would like to point out that hospital gowns are not designer fashion, are not very flattering, and they provide only a modicum of modesty. Most of the time, people are wearing underwear under them, but it's not a guarantee.

I did have one patient, bless him, who did pull on his jeans under his gown whenever he left the room. That's not much of a fashion statement either. I mean, I would have either put on all regular clothes, or thrown on a robe (that zipped or tied closed securely). The half-n-half thing is a little too bipolar for my taste, but I digress.

Just the other day, I was reminded once again about this situation - because I see it so much that it is no longer on my mind on a minute-by-minute, or even a daily basis. OK, maybe fleetingly on the daily thing.

As I was writing a progress note in a chart at the nurses station, I looked down one of the halls while searching for a word in my mind, when I saw a perfect example of this breach of etiquette: A male patient facing the opposite direction was walking down the hall pulling his IV pole and wearing a hospital gown. It was barely tied in the back, and he was giving us all a view of his tidy-whities.

"Case in point!!!" I screamed to the charge nurse and the other nurses nearby. (They've heard me ask the universe why people don't bring a robe to the hospital many times.) I just pointed down the hall and we all started laughing discreetly behind our hands.

I know that sometimes, people are too sick to think about etiquette - but most of the time, these patients are too sick to get out of bed in the first place. If they do leave their rooms, it is usually on a stretcher or a wheelchair, on the way to a procedure. The nursing/transport staff usually are good about keeping these patients covered up, but they are sick, it's a hospital; so, it's okay if they look like they are sick patients in a hospital on the way to a procedure.

Aaaannnnnd, the point: On your way to the hospital, be sure to pack a robe. Put a reminder on the back of your driver's license; so, your family will know your wishes, in the case that you are too sick to talk or think.

Merry Karma out.

3 comments:

Lorette said...

Ha! I love this one. I just cannot BELIEVE how many otherwise intelligent people parade around with their gown flapping open in the back, generally with nothing on underneath.

Merry Karma said...

Yep! It happens every.single.day.

Another Glamour Don't - Walking around in the hospital gown, exposing white briefs in the back, and wearing brown-or-black.socks.with.brown-or-black lace-up.shoes.

Oh my!

Paula said...

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