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Comfort can be just a call away

For those who have worked in hospitals for a while, surgical procedures can become part of a rhythmic daily routine. For patients, surgery is so much more—it is a life-saving or sustaining procedure, a chance at an improved life, or sadly in some cases, a risk of never seeing their family again. It’s a reality that at one point in our life we all face as a patient or family member. Bev Henion, CRNA, from Nurse Anesthesia of Maine, and Miranda Manzo, RN, from Post Anesthesia Care at EMMC, are very aware of how life-changing a procedure can be for a patient. Here’s their story of the remarkable difference they made in a surgical patient’s life during a time when she needed a little extra comfort.

The moments before our patients go into the operating room can sometimes be rather intimidating for them, as well as for their family members. There are several ways that staff can help ease their minds as they go into the procedure, and then sometimes a serendipitous phone call moments before surgery can change everything.

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Pictured right to left: Miranda Manzo, RN, from Post Anesthesia Care at EMMC and Bev Henion, CRNA, from Nurse Anesthesia of Maine.

Just as one EMMC patient was being brought into the operating room, she received a very special phone call from her grandson, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. Given the situation, Bev and Miranda stopped so that the patient could share a moment with her grandson before her procedure. They knew taking this phone call was an essential part of helping the patient feel peace of mind. Miranda shares, "Families’ presence in the pre-operative setting, even remotely, to help alleviate patients’ anxieties is so vital in delivering quality care to our patients. Anytime we can provide this for our patients, we will. Pausing to facilitate this phone call was part of what we do here every day."

In addition to giving the patient this special opportunity, Bev also took a little time to speak with the patient’s grandson, thanking him for his service to our country and assuring him that his grandmother was in good hands.

This is a small, yet remarkable gesture, and the type of behavior that we can all learn from when working with patients, visitors, and colleagues. The interaction brought tears to the patient’s family who were present, and to quote the patient herself: “It was the best possible way to go into surgery.”

We’d like to hear your stories of how you play a positive role in creating an exceptional patient experience. Email us at yourstory@emhs.org. Your story may just be the next article you see in Pathways!