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Table 9 Intimacy. Items: I need more respect for my intimacy; I need more attention from the nursing staff; I need better services from the hospital (bathrooms, meals, cleaning)

From: Cancer patients' needs during hospitalisation: a quantitative and qualitative study

A Very Physical Presence
I found the nursing staff reasonably attentive. I remember there being a very physical presence. Maybe if we understand it in a wider context, the fact of sharing living space with another person... well...this could be a violation of intimacy. Undergoing certain particularly heavy therapies while sharing your room with another person can, at times, create situations lacking in intimacy which only makes everything heavier to bear.
Involuntary Hearing
For example, when doctors come along on their rounds – I am in a room with four beds – it annoys me to hear everything about other people's diseases; just as it annoys me when the others hear things about my situation.
I don't think this is right. I feel uncomfortable when I can't get up because usually when the doctor finishes speaking to me I leave; but I have found myself in situations where I couldn't get up; where I had to stay there and listen to the doctor who maybe said some things which were a little unpleasant to another patient and I felt the patient's state of being ill at ease; he/she maybe felt embarrassed; maybe he/she couldn't express what he/she wanted to. I have noticed this both in myself and in other persons.
Being Seen Naked
...I mean, above all, the fact of being seen naked... Situations do exist where nurses wash a woman in the same room in front of you; or where a male nurse comes to wash you because it's his shift and involuntarily it wasn't thought of to send a female nurse.
Sensitivity
...for example, when a person has a stoma and a person needs to be clean; because if you are operated on you shouldn't have to go and beg to the nursing staff for them to change you; it should be a logical thing; immediate. I have found myself having to beg for this. If I had been capable I would have done it myself.
This touches a person deeply, for it is his/her way of feeling, of being sensitive. Intimacy is not represented only by certain things, but it also consists in moving to touch a person in the area where he/she feels; touching his/her sensitivity.
Sensitivity is a very intimate property (part) of a person.
Dividing Men and Women
From the point of view of one's own intimacy, it is an infamy state of affairs. Last night I went in to the bathroom and there was a gentleman there: I felt inhibited. The doors don't close properly. And, anyway, I didn't particularly feel like going into the bathroom and seeing that man cleaning his set of false teeth. Again, one can't get undressed in order to wash properly. These are things that make you feel bad.
They could, at least, divide men and women: at least then (for me) it would be only women encountering one another in the bathroom.