Personal Views

The tale of two wards

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7065.1152 (Published 02 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1152
  1. Matthew Juniper

    In late 1994 I broke my leg playing rugby. I was treated in two wards in two different hospitals for a total of six weeks. There was a difference in the style of nursing and pain management that made my stay in the first ward miserable and in the second ward pleasant. This was because in the first ward the staff did not seem to appreciate that different patients have different needs.

    The most evident manifestation of this was the pain management. The nerves in my leg had lost their blood supply, and I had hammering pins and needles. In the first ward the nurses asked patients, “Would you like pain killers?” and gave coproxomol to those who said yes. I soon stopped saying yes because, as I told the nurses, they weren't …

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