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Making Patients Feel at Home in the ICU

The Intensive Care Unit can be a scary place for patients and their families, but a new initiative is helping families feel more at home in the ICU.“I think anything you can do to bring in a little bit of home, a little bit of comfort, especially when they wake up and they are in that unfamiliar environment,” said Betsy Groendyk, ICU clinical supervisor at Gulf Coast Medical Center.My Story started last year at Gulf Coast Medical Center as a way for health experts to learn more about each patient.“We were in a patient’s room and the wife was present and she said I just wish you could know my husband he was a wonderful person. He wasn’t able to communicate. So we ran and grabbed big Post It paper and we put My Story on it and we brought it back to her and said tell us about him,” said Linda Odnoha, ICU Director at Gulf Coast Medical Center.Now, every room is filled with a blank poster board when patients arrive. Families can use the board to write notes about the patient.If a patient doesn’t have a family member, health experts may use the board to write positive messages to the patient. When the patient leaves, families can take the My Story board home.“I think it’s a great impact. It’s a feel good. It’s a feel good for the staff, the physician, and anyone can go into the room and communicate with the patient or a family member,” said Odnoha.The board helps patients feel more at home when they wake up, and helps health experts better communicate with the patient and the family.“It kind of helps you relax a little bit and let you know that the people here truly do care so it’s had a wonderful impact,” said Lee Health patient liaison Lucy Davis.With notes, pictures, and personal items, the My Story offers some comfort and ease to a difficult time.View More Health Matters video segments at Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.Visit