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The general wards

Being transferred to the general wards can be a real mixed bag of emotions for patients and families. While ward transfer is a sign of improvement and a step closer to going home, patients and families have to adjust to less monitoring and having fewer staff at close hand. 

Some patients "come to" on the wards, and have to begin to try to make sense of what has happened to them. Common psychological issues include strange dreams, problems sleeping or feeling anxious or low. Patients also become more aware of physical issues such as general weakness, tiredness, mobility problems, etc as they begin to do more for themselves.

In this section, we've provided some general information and advice on common physical and psychological issues issues during the ward stage of recovery, the types of staff involved in your care (who they are and what they do) and what to expect in terms of getting you home. We've also included sections on other people's experiences and frequently asked questions. We hope you find it helpful.

 

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External Video: Louise describes her critical illness and the process of getting better

In this video clip, Louise a former Intensive Care patient talks about her experiences of critical illness five years on and the process of getting better and getting on with her life. You can read interviews,listen to voice recordings and watch clips of other patients' experiences of Intensive Care by using the link to a free website called Healthtalkonline: http://healthtalkonline.org/search/all/intensive%20care

Web Link: Making a complaint (NHS Lothian)

Sadly, sometimes patients and their family members can feel let down by the quality of the care they have received. Patients and family members have the right to have their complaints heard and an explanation provided as to why the quality of care may have not been of sufficient standard. This link gives guidance on how to raise a complaint with any of the services provided by the NHS in Lothian.

Article: Managing breathlessness

Awaiting content from a physiotherapist

External Video: Managing your physical symptoms using pacing

This short clip will explain what 'pacing' is and how it can be used to manage some of your physical symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and pain.

Article: Medication

Will I go home on the same medication? You may find that you go home with more or sometimes less medication than you were taking before.It is not unusual for some of your normal medications to be stopped or to have new ones started. How can I find out more about any new medications? Ask your nurse, doctor or the ward pharmacist to explain what your new medications are for, how and when to take them, any side effects to look out for, or if they are likely to interfere with...

Article: Mobility issues (walking)

Once you are transferred to the general ward and are beginning to become more active, you may be surprised to notice that you are perhaps not quite as able to do the things you thought you would. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that you are still in the very early stages of recovering from a serious illness, an operation or an accident. Tiredness and general weakness are extremely common, even if you only spent a short time in Intensive Care or were previously fit and...

Article: Muscle wasting

Why do you get muscle wasting? In the early stages of your illness, it is most likely that you will have experienced a period of unconsciousness, and received support from a breathing machine, or ventilator, for your breathing. During this time you will have been unable to use the muscles in your arms and legs, and move your joints yourself. If the muscle is not used then it will start to reduce in size or waste away. We know from research studies where pictures have been...

External Article: NHS Inform

This link will take you to NHS inform,a new health information service designed to give you access to the information you need, when you need it. NHS Inform provide access to trustworthy information that can help you in many different ways. They can give you information on medical conditions, answer common health questions and keep you up to date with all the latest health-related news items. They also have lots of information on specific health and welfare topics from living with...

Article: Not remembering what happened to you

Once patients are transferred to the wards, they often "come to" and have to begin to make sense of what's happened to them. Not remembering (amnesia) how you ended up in Intensive Care and what happened while you were there is extremely common. Patients sometimes "lose" the few days before ending up in Intensive Care, even though they were comparatively well at that time. Not remembering is likely to be a combination of how ill you were, the nature of your...