Get up, get dressed, get moving

Nurses and hospital staff across the South East will be skipping a vital step in their morning routines and turning up to work in their pyjamas today.

Country Health SA (CHSA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer South East Region, Ngaire Buchanan, said the unique move by staff across the hospitals is part of the campaign to ‘End Pyjama Paralysis’.

“We want to encourage patients who are well enough to get out of bed to start moving, and getting dressed is often the first step,” Ms Buchanan said.

“The sooner patients can get moving the better, as it reduces pressure injuries and the chance of falls as the patient rebuilds strength in their muscles once they begin moving around again.

“Long periods spent in a hospital bed can be a major factor in a patient’s decline in muscle strength, muscle mass and physical and cognitive function, which means they spend more time in hospital than needed.

“Seeing staff in their pyjamas will be an entertaining way of encouraging patients to get out of their pyjamas and into their everyday clothes to motivate them to get active.”

The ‘End Pyjama Paralysis’ campaign was started by Professor Brian Dolan in the United Kingdom and has been embraced by hospitals around the world, which has resulted in reductions in length of stay, pressure injuries and fall rates.

Lead of the South East campaign and Acting Director of Nursing Mt Gambier and Penola Hospitals, Pam Schubert, said 10 days of bed rest for someone over 80 can age muscles by up to 10 years and it is essential to encourage patients to move.

“For someone at an advanced age, getting up and moving around could be the difference between going home or going to an assisted care facility,” Ms Schubert said.

“The faster we can get people back into their normal every day habits, the faster they can get out of hospital and recover in the comfort of their own home.

“We also want to help our patients and their families to set goals for their care and recovery, and hope that seeing staff in their pyjamas will help them to do this.

“We hope to see similar results across the South East, including our hospitals in Mount Gambier, Bordertown, Kingston, Millicent, Naracoorte and Penola.”

The campaign is part of a wider initiative for patients to ‘Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving’ to help them recover.

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