BY: LARRY EHREN
In the November-December issue of Health Progress, we asked you what your organization does to help patients and their families feel "at home" and comfortable during their hospital experience. Here is a response we received. Answer this issue's question on p. 15, and we'll publish your answers.
VCRs and Teddy Bears
We do the following to help patients and their families feel "at home":
- A volunteer-run "room service" provides patients with daily papers, VCRs and videotapes, personal stereos, and other items to help make their stay a bit more relaxed.
- We allow family members to stay with the patient in the room, if possible and appropriate. We also provide reduced-fee lodging at "Providence Cottage" for families of open-heart surgery patients and others who travel long distances to be with patients who are seriously ill.
- Our pediatric unit welcomes each new patient and family with a special bear that is waiting on their bed or crib. This special friend accompanies our young patients while they are in the hospital, and goes with them on their return home. The pediatric unit also has child-friendly murals and playrooms.
- Many wonderful volunteers escort patients and families to diagnostic areas. On patients' arrival, a volunteer in each waiting room offers free refreshments, a sympathetic ear, and an update on scheduling.
- We offer as many choices as possible to patients and their families so that, in a new environment, they have as many factors under their own control as possible.
- Our "take a minute" nursing program encourages our busy nursing professionals to take a moment to engage each patient and inquire, "How is it going?"
Director, Mission Integration
Providence Health System
Copyright © 1999 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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