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Get up, get dressed and get moving

This International Nurses Day (IND), Friday 12 May, Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is encouraging patients who can to get up, get dressed and get moving to help get them home as soon as possible.

Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Karen Cairney said this year MLHD nurses are using their voice to promote the social media movement #endPJParalysis on Twitter.

“If patients stay in their pyjamas longer than they need to, they have a higher risk of infection, a greater loss of mobility, fitness and strength, and will ultimately stay in hospital longer.

“If we can help patients get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible including getting up and out of bed, it means a quicker recovery,” Ms Cairney said.

Just 24 hours of bed rest reduces your muscle power by 2.5 per cent, and that’s not just in the arms and legs but also the heart and lungs.

Patients over the age of 80 will have the equivalent of 10 years of muscle wastage after just 10 days in bed.

“For some patients with long hospital stays it can also mean the difference between going home and going into a nursing home,” she said.

As the single largest group of health professionals in MLHD’s workforce who work in a variety of settings from hospitals to community health centres, nurses can make an enormous impact on the outcome for patients, Ms Cairney said.

“Nurses are encouraging patients to bring both their pyjamas and their clothes to hospital with them and encourage patients to get up and get dressed as soon as they can,” she said

On IND, MLHD nurses are invited to wear normal clothes (no uniform) to promote the importance of this message.

Bright red button badges are being issued to nurses across the District to promote awareness and encourage people to talk about #endPJParalysis.

“MLHD employs a committed and skilled nursing workforce who work hard to ensure patients and clients receive outstanding nursing care,” Ms Cairney said.

“IND is an opportunity to acknowledge and thank our nurses and to celebrate the work they do.”

Nominations are now open to the public for the fourth annual MLHD Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards: http://www.mlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/community-support/conferences-and-events

The awards recognise and acknowledge nurses and midwives for their excellence in practice and for the significant contribution they make to their professions, their teams and the community. 

The awards will be presented at a MLHD staff ceremony in September.

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