The Intensive Care Unit or ICU can be a scary place for families and patients. Health experts have come up with a way to make patients feel a little more comfortable.
Through pictures and posters, Elizabeth Glassley makes sure everyone who visits her mom in the ICU leaves knowing something about her. “You don’t have a lot of control with what’s happening but you do obviously with My Story.”
My Story started last year at Gulf Coast Medical Center as a way for staff to know more about their patients. It’s now being used at all four hospitals at Lee Health.
“I think that they really enjoy the fact that we are taking the time to get to know them,” said Betsy Groendyk, ICU clinical supervisor at Gulf Coast Medical Center.
When patients arrive at the ICU, every room has a blank poster board for the families to write on.
“They’re so stressed out being in the ICU that it gives them something not only to do and focus on, but it helps them see that we’re all people and we’re taking the time to get to know them as people as well,” said Groendyk.
Elizabeth says My Story has given her the chance to introduce staff to her mom, not as a patient but as a mother, grandmother, and friend. “As soon as she said that I immediately felt joy. I can’t imagine my mom didn’t feel some of that. It just takes your mind away from just sitting here. You can’t just sit here and stare at your loved one that is not awake and can’t talk,” said Elizabeth.
Health experts have also found it gives families ease when they need to take a break.
“The one patient that the family wrote that they like to watch The Young and The Restless and I saw that and thought, oh I should see if The Young and the Restless is on. The family wasn’t in the room but I knew the patient liked it so I could put it on and make that patient a little more comfortable,” said Groendyk.
When the patient wakes up, health experts have a way to connect with them, using more than just their medical chart.
“It’s just such a great way to connect with people and that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to help people and to connect with people,” said Groendyk.
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Lee 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.