Nurse sews custom-made drain bag covers to support patient dignity

Release Date: 13/08/2019

Nurse sews custom-made drain bag covers to support patient dignity

Hospital surgery can save lives – but it can also leave visible signs of intervention that has a significant negative impact on a patient’s mental health.

That can certainly be the case for people who have had treatment for a bone or soft tissue cancer that often means they have to use a drainage bag.

Now the nursing team from Oswald Ward, the specialist oncology ward at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, have come up with a novel idea to help these patients – sewing custom-made drainage bag covers that hide them out of sight when the patient is out and about.

The idea was the brainchild of Pip Page-Davies, a Staff Nurse on Oswald Ward, who started making the bags to encourage patients to be more confident when moving, improve daily life on the ward and also promote their dignity when away from the clinical area.

Pip said: “As a ward we try to encourage our patients to have as much independence as possible, so when they’re ready, they can spend time off the ward.

“I really feel the drain bag covers have encouraged patients to feel less conscious and more confident, so giving a little bit of time to make these is a huge benefit for our patients.

“It’s been clear that the confidence of our patients has grown, dignity has improved and the risk of falls has been reduced, which certainly makes it worthwhile.”

The idea of the bag covers was first discussed between the team, with Pip then contacting Textile Express in Oswestry, who donated the fabric.

Donna St John, Oswald Ward Manager, said: “The team are always looking for innovative ways to make lives for our patients better, and Pip’s idea of making covers for drainage bags is no exception.

“The benefits are endless and the patients that have used them have commented on how much more assured they feel leaving the ward knowing others can’t see their drainage bag.

“We’d also like to thank Textile Express for supporting this initiative by donating the fabric to us.”

Sarah Bloomfield, Interim Director of Nursing, said: “It’s really fantastic to see our nurses thinking outside the box with how they can improve the day-to-day lives for our patients.

“Our patients’ feeling dignified and confident is extremely important and I am so proud of the team on Oswald Ward for the work they’ve done to improve this.”

Photo caption: Donna St John, Oswald Ward Manager, and Pip Page-Davies, Staff Nurse, with Hazel Carter, Oswald Ward patient who uses one of Pip's drain covers. 

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