The Mother’s Room

Rooms for mothers of intensive care unit for babies and attendants of adult intensive care unit in poor shape

The three rooms in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) meant for the attendants of intensive unit patients are is always crowded and dirty and is one of the main issues which the hospital management has not able to manage despite having the rule of one patient one attendant.

Of the three rooms two of rooms are the Mother’s room consisting of two small rooms for mothers of babies or children in the intensive care unit and the third room is for attendants of Adult Intensive Care Unit room (AICU).

Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pemba said the main purpose of having mother’s room is for the mothers or the attendants of Adult Intensive Care Unit room (AICU).

He said the mothers of babies who are admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), stay in the mother’s room, as they cannot keep mothers along with the babies in the NICU. Similarly, with the AICU attendant they cannot allow patients’ attendant to stay with the patient in the same ward.

So the patient’s relatives or attendant are supposed to sleep in the room designated for them but it becomes overcrowded and also unhygienic.

Dr Gosar said some mothers who live in Thimphu go home if they are close by but the main challenge is that they cannot monitor all the time and the fact is all the people go in there and the relatives of the patients drink alcohol in there thereby misusing the facility.

“It is not that we do not look into the issues of mother’s rooms in our hospital. We clean mother’s room timely and also allocated security guards but it is still not working. It is very difficult to make them understand that the rooms is for mothers and the attendant. For cleanliness of the room, it has to come from the users,” said Dr. Gosar.

However, he said when the new hospital comes up, it will have a complete new mother’s room which will be very spacious and there will be mother’s mess as well.

All the facilities there will be unlike the current mother’s room.

JDWNRH did not have a mother’s room earlier and what the hospital has now is a temporary one. Since there has been no plan to extend it or come up with a new one, the current mother’s room is the permanent one.

Dr. Gosar said if people use it correctly without letting outsiders sleep in the ward, the space is big enough and it will never be too crowded.

“We had other people, relatives, and not only the mother, also their relatives sleep in mother’s room. So we cannot keep track every day,” said Dr Gosar.

He said at any given time, there should not be more than 10 women whose babies are admitted in NICU in the hospital and in AICU, there can be only 8 patients admitted.

“So that means 8 relatives but you have 15 people (in the AICU attendants room). For each patient three or four are staying.  When the security ask them to leave, they do not listen. It should be actually one patient one attendant but what we see is one patient, and three or four attendants,” said Dr Gosar.

He said the security guards have their own specific areas to be guarded and hospital is a public space and so anyone cannot tell people to leave.

Dr. Gosar highlighted the other challenges. “In all wards, it is  36 bedded, but instead of having 36 patients, we are having at any given time around 100 or more in a wards. This is 36 patients and the number of relatives. Now that is when the facilities are meant for the patients is being used by 100 people, then the cleaner will constantly have to clean the toilets. We ask attendants not to eat in the ward, but they do not listen and when they eat, they throw everything in the sink and it gets blocked. So it is a very daunting task for the hospital management to keep the surrounding and wards clean.”

“So cleanliness is very difficult to maintain,” said Dr. Gosar.

Other issues are theft but after installing CCTV, the hospital has not received any loss complaints till date.

In a year, 18,000 people are admitted in JDWNRH.

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