Monday, May 11, 2009

Down with the gown

A hospital gown's design seems frivolous -- until you are doubled over with fever and exhaustion and chemo trying to tie the damn thing up with trembling fingers.

Today's Wall Street Journal has a nice piece about fledgling efforts to reform the johnny. How about making it easy to fasten? A pocket, perhaps? Make the fit a little more flexible and less prone to indecent exposure? And, of course, any new design also has to be ridiculously durable and affordable if it is to have any chance of replacing the old:

The traditional American hospital gown -- flimsy in front, open to the breeze in the back -- has been around about as long as the Band-Aid. If anything, it has changed less.

The one-size-fits-none garment remains one of the least loved aspects of American medicine.

I have a little more about the healing power of hospital aesthetics in this old post.
A faded poster of golden retriever puppies peeking out of pastel flower pots was taped to the ceiling directly above the bench where patients lie [during radiation]. I guess the idea was that people could distract themselves with fluffy puppies while their flesh burned.

No comments: