By Emily Danz, RN, BSN
Patients in the hospital are always a little sad when they are not at home or with their families. This especially was the case for my patient, who has three young children at home. Unfortunately, my patient’s diagnosis of active tuberculosis does not allow for her children to visit, since special masks are required to be worn for her care.
As her nurse, I noticed my patient was becoming increasingly sad and anxious as it became clear that she would not be spending this Christmas with her children. I knew that something had to be done and I decided to explore every option available that would allow her to see and speak to her children without putting them at risk of catching tuberculosis.
I finally realized the best way for my patient to see her children would be through video-chat. She would be able to see how they were and speak to them directly. I immediately went to my unit manager to discuss this idea and we decided it would be a perfect way to put a smile on my patients face, and spread some holiday cheer to her family.
I told my patient what we would be arranging and she was so excited that she was smiling for the rest of the day. On December 26, we arranged for her family to come into the hospital at a specific time to plan for their video-chat. My patient did not have her own electronic device to use so I made sure to bring in my personal devices so that she and her family could finally reunite after ten long days of not seeing each other.
Seeing the smiles and happiness on my patient and her family’s faces was truly a precious and heart-warming moment. This opportunity was a true reminder of one of the reasons why I became a nurse. I know that this small gesture had a huge impact on my patient, as it helped raise her spirits, allowing for better healing, and helped her time in the hospital become an overall better experience.
Emily Danz, RN, BSN is a new graduate nurse beginning her career in Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Medical/Surgical Float Pool. She is a 2014 graduate of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program from Dominican College, and holds a second Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pace University.