Your Patients and the Holidays

Spending the holidays in a hospital is not the most desirable situation for patients and their families. At a time when folks spend more time with family and friends, the holidays can affect your patients in a number of ways. What is your hospital doing to make their time at your facility easier?

The holiday blues can affect patients both emotionally and physically. Not only are they having to deal with whatever brought them to the hospital, but they often get depressed because they are not around loved ones and miss out on opportunities to attend events and get-togethers.

Monitoring the mental state of patients after surgery and during their stay is a major component of their recovery.

There are many things your hospital can do at little to know expense to help reduce the holiday depression among your patients. It’s the little things that can go a long way.

Extend Visiting Hours
Sometimes, visitors are restrained by the hospital’s visitation hours. Review your hours and consider extended times during the holiday season to allow patients more time to spend with family and friends.

Costumed Visits
Many hospitals setup a time for Santa Claus, elves, and other holiday figures to visit patients. These special events can provide a moment of happiness and fun that can boost spirits.

Without being too extravagant and observing patient safety, you may be able to decorate some of the rooms and common areas of the hospital.

Special Meals and Presentation
Work with your dietician to develop holiday-inspired meals and find a way to jazz up the presentation value. Even fun, holiday-shaped Jell-o servings can make an impact.

Increase Time with Patients
Work with the nursing team to spend quality, attentive moments with the patient. Talk about their families, something on the television, their interests. Sometimes, patients may want someone to talk with, and hospital volunteers might be a great resource for this. Taking a few extra moments can boost their spirit and aid in their recovery.

This holiday season, think about the ways you can help your patients manage their experience in the hospital. Remember, the smallest gestures can make the largest difference.