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Bedside Initiatives Aren't Just for Kids

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2013

Here are a few more nurse-led patient/family-centered initiatives at HUP:

HUP's Pups: It was a nurse who initiated, developed, and implemented this program, which brings volunteer therapy dogs onto units to interact with patients and families. "She loves dogs and she works in a critical care unit where she recognizes the stress of everyone," Watson says of the nurse who started the program. Armed with academic literature to back up the idea that dogs can improve patients' psychological and physiological wellbeing, the nurse vetted the process, engaged stakeholders, worked with multiple departments, and shepherded the program through all needed policies.

Comfort carts: A nurse in the medical ICU saw that family members didn't want to leave patients' bedsides, so she led an initiative to bring necessities to them. Coffee, tea, and snacks are provided to families who are keeping vigil, often before an impending patient death.

The carts also provide blankets, music, tissues, and spiritual or religious items, such as battery-operated candles and copies of the Bible and Koran. "That was a bedside nurse… who works permanent night shift in the medical ICU who launched that program with her colleagues," says Walton.

Musicians On Call brings live music to the hospital. Walton says nurses identify patients or family members who'd like to hear music, and the charge nurse meets with the musicians and tells them which patients would like them to visit. The musicians either go into patients' rooms or simply play on the unit.


Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Bedside Initiatives Aren't Just for Kids"


Robanai Disque (9/6/2013 at 12:45 PM)
I am all for kids and adults not being afraid to go to the doctor?hospital and for it to be a good experience. My question is how many kids who don't have insurance could have been taken care of with the cost of musical stairs? How many fish tanks (which have to be maintained),gadgets etc.Were any of the items donated, do volunteers maintain the fish tanks and equipment? Sometimes as Americans we set the bar high,then keep raising it and when is enough, enough? My children both had birth defects and went to a speciality pediatric hospital and they were perfectly happen with the large doll house that was donated by someone who made it and educational toys in a toy box.One of my children continued to go for 18 years to that hospital.