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Fun scrub Fridays brightening the day for dementia patients

Fridays at RNSH’s dementia ward are now a bit brighter.

Staff have taken to wearing all sorts of colourful scrubs, some featuring cats wearing hats, unicorns with purple manes, and green cheetahs.

Rina Santos, a nursing assistant who has worked on the ward for 18 years, suggested staff wear fun scrubs to cheer up their dementia patients.

We really see the difference when they see us in our new scrubs
Nursing Assistant Rina

“We are more approachable.” 

Rina was inspired to do the fun scrubs after hearing about clinicians in Ireland caring for dementia patients wearing different-coloured aprons. “We wear Christmas scrubs so why can’t we wear a different scrub with different colours and patterns?” she said.

The ward has 30 patients in total but the high dependency unit has eight beds and specialises in caring for aged care patients who have behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, and a high risk of falling over.

One large wall is covered with wallpaper depicting a large tree with green leaves, dappled sunlight, and a bus stop and taxi sign.  It was also Rina’s idea to put up the image, which some patients have found comfort in, as they can sit in front of it and imagine going to the shops. 

“It’s really good,” said Rina of the wall, adding that she has plans to decorate other parts of the ward.

“It’s another way to cheer up the patients.”

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