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.