Wayne UNC Team Connects Patients and Families during COVID-19 Pandemic
As Wayne UNC began preparing for a potential outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late February and early March, one of the first steps we took was reducing the number of visitors in our hospital. The severity of the COVID-19 threat meant that patients would soon be facing hospitalization without the comfort of loved ones by their side.
“At the very beginning, we saw that we had to find a way for our patients to be able to talk to their families and see their families,” said Meredith Peters, a patient advocate at Wayne UNC. “Even if patients were intubated, they needed to be able to see their family members and have that connection that’s so important.”
The team knew they would have to find a way to support patients in their time of need. With an older patient base and a steady influx of COVID-19 patients associated with the outbreak at Neuse Correctional Institution, the Wayne UNC team knew many patients would be unable to feel that connection with loved ones without help.
Wayne UNC repurposed existing iPads on every unit, including the COVID ICU. Now any nurse can use the unit iPad at any time to call their patients’ loved ones. “This is having a positive impact on the patients – boosting their spirits, helping their recovery,” said Peters. “They’ve been able to talk to family members and get that face-to-face connection.”
Peters went on to say that they have received a great response from families, teammates and providers. Providers, nurses and other front-line staff have embraced using the iPad and regularly request to use them with patients.
At Wayne UNC, we are committed to caring for the mind, body and spirit of our patients. Supporting communication with loved ones, especially during this difficult time, is one way we can support their healing and provide a glimmer of hope.
“Hearing a loving, familiar voice is an important part of the healing process,” said Peters. “I see this as something that we will definitely continue to use after the pandemic is over.”