Friday, 17 August 2012

Nursing process

Grumpy, in one of his comments has dredged up something I have not heard of for a long time. The “Nursing Process”. This was an approach to nursing that was very popular about 20 years ago but has now, thankfully, died the death. 

One of it’s features was that it set out to be thorough and holistic, so all patient’s had to fill out a questionnaire enquiring into every aspect of their lives, no matter what they came in for, and all aspects were supposed to be addressed while they were in hospital. While this is perhaps no bad thing when it comes to, say, dietary requirements, there was a section that pried into the patient’s sexuality. So you could come in for an ingrown toenail and asked how you got your jollies. Unsurprisingly most nurses skated over that bit without being too intrusive, but some of the more fanatical felt that this was wrong.

One (male) academic published a paper in which he asserted that, not only should this area be fully explored, but any problems uncovered should be dealt with. He even gave an example. These were the days before the popularity of internal fixation of fractures and many orthopaedic wards had several patients on long term traction, some of whom were young males. 

The author suggested that being in this situation for weeks at a time was likely to cause a build up of sexual tension, and that this should be addressed. His idea was that the hospital should employ a specially trained physiotherapist who would periodically visit these young men and give them “a helping hand”

I remember thinking at the time that this was likely to result in perfectly fit young men breaking their limbs on purpose.


  1. Are you sure it was 20 years ago......? I thought it was just a couple of years back. Ah well, showing my age again.

    I worked in an acute orthopaedic ward when traction abounded, we would just leave the guys plenty of time to wash themselves behind the curtains. I would occasionally earn a slap from my colleagues when I pointed out that it was the (female) nurses job to do for the patient what they were unable to do for themselves.

  2. the a&e charge nurse21 August 2012 at 09:16

    I semen to remember that wanking, sorry, massaging was abandoned due to physios experiencing dreadful side effects?

  3. Nursing has changed - one of the reasons is that equipment in the labs and hospitals have changed