Difference Between a Hospital Ward and Private Room
Many of us would probably choose to stay in a private room as opposed to on an open-plan hospital ward if we needed to go into hospital. However, unless we’re paying to go private, this is not always possible under the general admittance procedure of NHS hospitals.
For obvious reasons, if all of us were granted a private room, the hospital would not be able to treat as many people as it does and this would result in longer waiting times for routine procedures and is simply not practical. Nevertheless, you don’t always need to ‘go private’ to be sure of getting a private room.
Most NHS hospitals do cater for a number of people who cannot afford to go completely private but would prefer the convenience and privacy afforded to them by having a private room and, usually at additional expense to you, it is sometimes possible to request a private room within an NHS hospital.
Main DifferencesAs the term suggests, probably the greatest reason why people would ask for a private room is to maintain their privacy. Despite the fact that hospital wards are designed as best as they can be so that you maintain some privacy and dignity by being partitioned off with curtain rails for when you’re being attended to, for the most part, you don’t get an awful lot of privacy from the other people in the beds surrounding you.
In a private room, the facilities can vary but you can expect to have your own TV and, perhaps, phone facilities and you may also get your own en suite facilities with your own bathroom and toilet. Ultimately, however, it’s the fact that you have your own room and privacy that comes with it that makes the difference.
Other Advantages Of Private RoomA private room is likely to be less noisy with less activity than on an open-plan ward. This will be very beneficial when it comes to rest and recuperation after surgery, for example, and will also help you if you have difficulty sleeping. You’ll be more able to watch TV or perhaps listen to music without disturbing other people.
Although it would be disingenuous to suggest that hospitals do not take as much care with the hygiene of a ward as they might do with a private room, it must be the case that the fact that you are in your own room as opposed to a busy, sometimes crowded ward where bed occupancy and patient turnover is high, the chances of contracting some kind of infection is likely to be less in a private room. You’ll also enjoy more privacy when you’re receiving visitors.
Private Room DisadvantagesDepending on the type of person you are, staying in a private room can sometimes have its disadvantages too especially if the length of your hospital stay is quite considerable. For example, the days can seem to drag for hours on end and you could end up feeling quite isolated as opposed to being on a ward where you’ll at least have more of an opportunity for social interaction with other patients and it would be easier to get the attention of nursing staff without the need to press a buzzer.
Also, there have been the odd occasions where a person may have got out of bed in a private room to go to their en suite bathroom facility and have suffered a fall on the way which has gone unnoticed for a longer period than if they’d been on an open-plan ward.
Despite the fact that many people would prefer a private room in an NHS hospital, it’s not always possible and, where it is, sometimes you may need to pay for that privilege. Therefore, if it is something that is important to you, it’s better to speak to the hospital first to ascertain what options you might have.