Sunday, December 3, 2017
Holiday Visit in the Hospital
It’s holiday time so what is the best thing you can bring to someone if you visit them in the hospital? Candy canes! Not for the patient, but for the nurses, nurse’s aides and doctors who care for them. Don’t bring them to the nurse’s station so they can get mixed in with all the other candy, cookies and gifts and no one knows who it came from, leave it in the patient’s room. This way, staff will be coming in to check on the patient, and grab a candy cane.
I have been suggesting this for years. Those who have taken my patient advocacy training know this. As a patient advocate we need to be sure we are building bridges for the patient and staff. Recently I asked a doctor to wash his hands and when he suggested he already did (I did not see him do it) I offered him a Twizzler if he did. He took the wrapped candy and washed. It broke the tension and I got what I need for the patient.
Chocolates are also popular when nurses come in to read the box cover to see what they will get, they spend extra time with the patient at their bedside and it makes for more pleasant small talk. Many years ago, I left a bouquet of lollipops at the patient’s bedside and when I returned all the nurses were walking around with lollipops in their mouth.
An assortment is always best. Chocolate and Twizzlers or lollipops. Don’t forget to offer it to the patient in the next bed or their guests because there may be a parade of staff coming in and talking about the new treat. If someone is diabetic, don’t pursue it.
Usually staff will be hesitant from taking the “patient’s candy” but insist it’s for them. Encourage them to take one and tell the others it's there. They will be back. I guarantee it! See what else Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy recommends bringing to the hospital: The Patient Assistant / Advocate Guide