Clinical corridors, wandering white coats and rows and rows of every sickness your mind can conjure – the fear of hospitals is understandable, but it’s stopping people getting the help they need.
The phobia of hospitals (otherwise known as Nosocomephobia) affects thousands of people, and it can stem from a variety of sources.
Maybe you had a poor experience in a hospital before, visited a sick relative in a downtrodden ward, or perhaps you’ve been conditioned by endless news headlines telling you of “Ebola Outbreaks!” or “MRSA Mega Attacks!”
You’re not alone – even former US president Richard Nixon avoided hospitals for years, despite requiring medical help.
But without a trip to those long, white wards, your illness will only get worse. So, what can you do to fight your fears?
Waste away? Then enter!
Let’s first address those mad headlines peddled by newspapers – “MRSA Outbreak!” and the like.
While there’s always an element of truth to these outraged front pages, they’re usually isolated to specific hospitals rather than being widespread outbreaks.
If you really want the inside scoop on your local hospital, check its cleaning schedule yourself.
The large majority of institutions will hire professional healthcare waste companies to provide the highest levels of cleanliness and hygiene in wards and corridors alike.
Armed with this information, you’ll know that you’re entering a clean establishment when you head through those automatic doors.
This time it’s personal
If there’s one thing that’s difficult when you’re ill, it’s keeping yourself clean. Even being bunged up with the flu can make the idea of having a shower seem more tiresome than a track race with Mo Farah.
However, if you’re not clean then what right have you got to judge hospitals? It’s like smearing yourself with mud then moaning at your kids for splashing in puddles.
Before you head into hospital, bring a fully packed hygiene kit with you – antibacterial gel, body wash, antibacterial wipes and pretty much anything else that will make you sparkle.
While you might see nurses and janitors cleaning up around you, it’s important to feel in control of your own hygiene. It’ll give you a personal boost – even if you don’t trust the cleanliness of others.
Chatter on Doctor
After more than a century of psychoanalysis, we’ve come to accept the idea that talking about your problems can be a great healer. And that applies as much to your fear of hospitals as anything else.
Before an operation, or even just a short stay, have a natter with your doctor or a medical professional to get the full lowdown on the procedure. At the very least, it could confirm that you’re in capable hands.