Tuesday, 23 July 2013

July 2013 - Hospital and a SmartPhone

I was sitting here just now thinking back to my hospital stays, and how different it is now compared to only a few years ago. When mobile phones were still very new, hospital's kept the phones and their delicate equipment at arms length..."you can't use that thing in here". I'm really not sure what changed, or when it changed, but I'm very glad it did. In fact I didn't realise you could use your phone in your hospital bed, I asked a nurse if it was OK, and she was like "of course it is". But then whilst having a mobile phone that you can use in hospital is invaluable, having a SmartPhone you can use in hospital is an absolute godsend and cannot be underestimated.

I remember when they used to wheel a telephone between beds so that patients could get in touch with relations, or else you were reduced to phoning the ward and asking how your friend/relation was getting on. But now calls and texts can happen whenever you want, updates on progress, a quick text last thing at night to wish each other a good nights sleep, or a 'Hi' first thing in the morning, news from when the doctors visit....all so much easier with instant communication anytime anywhen. It was also really easy to email friends and family to give them 'live' updates on how you are doing....the downside of that is content and grammar do go down the toilet somewhat as a tired and irritable Carlton types away on a small keyboard with predictive text doing its best to skew the words you are trying to type. I was going through the 100's of texts I exchanged with Deb whilst I was in hospital and it has to be said not all of them made brilliant sense - perhaps that is usual though.

In the QA Hospital in Portsmouth they have these TV screens by each bed in the ward that you can pay an arm and a leg for to watch TV and listen to radio, but with a SmartPhone you really don't need to pay out for that. You have a mobile device that allows you to watch TV (TVCatchup, iPlayer, ITV Player 4od etc.) listen to the radio (TuneIn Radio, Spotify) or your own music loaded onto the phone, catch up with the daily news (Google Currents, Flipboard, BBC News, Twitter, Facebook) play games and of course surf the Internet and Google all those ailments the doctors tell you about (of course as mentioned previously, I'd never get drawn into Googling my ailments). You can even go shopping to brighten your day (Ebay, Amazon etc.). I also found it really useful for taking notes to remember things, my brain wasn't in tip top shape so I would be awake at 3am and suddenly think of something I wanted to ask the doctor or my wife so I used Google Keep to write out notes to help me remember. I think the doctors thought I was slightly mad when I whipped out my phone and started asking questions off the screen, but it helped me in the moment.

So in short, if you find yourself in hospital and you have a SmartPhone, it will help you. Just make sure you have your charger with you, there are plenty of power sockets tucked away behind the bed, and the staff don't mind you recharging your phone in them. If you have an HTC One X like me, it will be plugged into the power an awful lot.

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