Upon meeting with a patient, doctors must always be welcoming and must always ensure that a patient is comfortable with them so that the patient will not have to feel intimidated especially if they have to undergo a surgery which is very daunting to most people.
When a surgeon performs surgery on a patient, it is a protocol for them to clean a patient’s skin with antiseptic to get rid of infections. Surgeons also remove a patch of hair from the site where the surgery should happen to have easier access and a clean finish in operating. It is also necessary to remove the patient’s clothing, but it only depends on the type of surgery they will be undergoing, for the purposes of getting rid of possible bacteria that is attached to the clothing that could possibly cause an infection to the patient while operating.
But the question is, are patients fully naked when they are being operated on? Are there dignities being protected by the surgeons? If yes, then in what way?
In this article, you will find out the how and the reasons as to why it is strictly required to protect a patient’s dignity, privacy, and decisions.
Are Patients Fully Undressed During their Surgery?
Do patients get really undressed on a surgery? Not completely but it does depend on the type of surgery that a surgeon will perform on them. If the type of surgery they will be undergoing is related to treating any reproductive diseases, well it is necessary for their genitals to be exposed in order for the surgeons to completely assess their disease and operate on it efficiently and since the only focus is the lower part of the patient’s body, they do not have to undress their upper clothing.
It goes the other way around as well. In a given scenario, if the site of the surgery is by the shoulders of a female patient, they can remove their top or they could still retain their undergarments (bra) as long as the surgeons who will be operating on her can still operate on the site for surgery of her body.
Basically, it really depends on the patient’s wishes whether they want to be operated on with or without clothes on. But in a dire situation, if the relatives or kin of a patient are not present but the patient must undergo surgery immediately, the surgeons will have no choice but to start the surgery and remove their clothing.
To add another answer and explanation, doctors put their patients in their scrubs or what is referred to as what patients wear inside the hospital. These garments ensure the patients to remain comfortable since it is very flowy, loose to allow great circulation, and sanitized. Patients wear their scrubs before the surgery, during, or after once they are starting to recover. It is not really necessary for them to wear their daily clothes just, yet unless a doctor can already approve of it.
What Are Other Factors That Ensure a Patient’s Dignity?
Before undergoing surgery, the doctor of the patient is always responsible for communicating with their patients about their wishes for their surgeries and that includes their modesty and dignity. A patient could request to not take their undergarments off during their surgery if they are uncomfortable and a doctor could write that request down, although the OR department is still in charge of what happens within an operating room so it is best that the doctors should write their patients’ requests down or else the OR department would only comply with their routinary procedures of prepping the patient for surgery and not mind the patient’s request.
There was some confession from medical practitioners about how do they deal with prepping a patient for surgery and one of the nurses mentioned that they undress their patients while they are still unconscious, take note that the patient is unaware of the situation around them, then the nurse dressed the patient in their scrubs.
A basic way to protect a patient’s dignity is to ensure their privacy by closing the curtains around their space of room before they are transferred to their private rooms. Next is closing doors of their private rooms whenever a doctor would like to discuss something personal regarding the patient.
The next factor is to always provide information to the patient or their relatives, family, or loved ones regarding their condition for the purposes of decision making. Some patients might have to discuss it with the surgeon for the purposes of asking for any advice or what could be the best course to rectify the situation if it is in a bad state. Although sometimes, patients will discuss their condition without the surgeon or their doctor but only with their family for the reasons of not wanting anybody to sway their decisions despite that, a surgeon must always respect their decision.
Lastly, another factor is to always respect the patient’s values and preferences. Added to this is to ensure that the patient’s cultural beliefs, faith, and religion are respected. These factors may not be related to how a patient’s dignity is ensured in physical terms but these are the foundations and general factors of where respect should lie in every person.
A surgeon will always do anything to ensure their patient’s dignity. It is not just a protocol to be followed within the premises of the medical establishment but it is a basic knowledge every decent human being should know about.
The patients may be sedated or anesthetized, but just because they are unaware of what is going on around them because they are unconscious, that does not mean that they should be disrespected while they are unaware. As long as their consent was asked and they gave it willingly, then a surgeon can proceed with the necessary procedure for the preparation of a surgical process.
This article does not only address it to patients and surgeons but the lesson is also applicable in general.