Corporate Information

Ending PJ Paralysis restores patients’ identities

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Picking out what clothes to wear each day is a task most of us probably do on auto-pilot, but imagine not having that choice…

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Every morning when I put on my nurses uniform I feel proud. It makes me part of one of the most trusted professions in the world. My uniform represents the years of hard work I’ve put into my career, allowing me to take care of my family, and all of the amazing people I’ve met along the way.

Being a nurse is a huge part of my identity, but the same sense of belonging can be true for an ex-serviceperson wearing a medal or even a football fan proudly displaying their club’s latest kit.

We should all have the right to project whatever image of ourselves we want to. And yet when many people come into hospital they relinquish this right without thinking about it, they go into ‘patient mode’ and stay in pyjamas all the time.

While some people can be too poorly to get up and get dressed, that’s certainly not true for all the patients you can often see in pyjamas on the wards.

The #EndPJParalysis movement is an opportunity for all of us to help break this cycle by demonstrating how even the smallest tasks, such as getting dressed, can make a huge difference to someone’s confidence and recovery. This is why we are asking patients to either bring clothes with them or ask a loved one to on their behalf.

On 17 April for the launch of the End PJ Paralysis 70-day challenge we had several nurses out in the Trust wearing pyjamas themselves. Some of them were on a stand in the main corridor, while others went about their daily routine and meetings in pyjamas.

You might look at that and say ‘why would you wear pyjamas to encourage others not to’, but the strange looks and reactions they got perfectly illustrate how strange it is for pyjamas to be so widely accepted as routine on the wards. It is no different.

:: Read more about the launch of the End PJ Paralysis 70-Day challenge here: /corporate-information/news/end-pj-paralysis-challenge.aspx

About the Author

Director of Nursing and Quality at the Countess of Chester.

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