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Idea for Patients in ICU

October 6, 2010

When you have a friend or loved one in the intensive or critical care unit of a hospital, only the closest family members are usually allowed to see the patient during visiting hours.  My dad was recently one of those patients.  We had many friends that wanted to go visit, but for the best results of his recovery, they were not allowed back.  Many people made visits to sit in the waiting room or made phone calls to the family.  Some people even made the family meals which was extremely helpful.

I must say, during this ordeal, many felt completely helpless…wondering what they could do to encourage us or lend a hand.  One family had a wonderfully creative idea.  It was so creative, in fact, I felt compelled to share it with you.  Even though they were not allowed beyond the double doors to sit with my dad, they did deliver a gift.  But, it wasn’t a gift for my dad, but rather for the nurses and doctors and lab techs and respiratory therapists and the slew of other kind hospital employees that were caring for my dad.

It was simple.  A jar full of mints.  A simple ribbon tied around the top for a pleasing, “homey” feel.  A note.  The note read:  “For the kind doctors and nurses caring for our friend.”  (And they filled in his name at the end.)  The nurses put it at the nurses’ station, but they all knew that someone, sight unseen, cared that they cared for their sick friend.

This is one of the most original ideas I’ve heard – and I worked in a hospital for years!  It shows that the person in “Room 4” is a real person.  It reminds the staff and caregivers that someone loves that person.  It shows a deep sense of gratitude for the care they are giving.  Yeah, it’s their job.  They get a paycheck for showing up and taking care of the patients, but don’t we all appreciate appreciation?  I have to believe my dad received extra kindness because of a little bit of sugar and thoughtfulness.

How have you shown friends and family kindness when a loved one is in the hospital?

This blog post is linked to from We Are That Family’s “Works For Me Wednesday” blog carnival.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2010 3:09 pm

    That is a wonderful and caring idea! Few people think of those hard workers and even the smallest ‘thanks’ is really a big thanks! I hope to not see anyone in ICU for ages and ages but I will definitely keep this in mind.

  2. Jessica permalink
    November 19, 2010 4:25 pm

    That is a wonderful gesture. I know the terrible feeling while sitting helplessly in the waiting room and being able to do something for someone (even if its not for the patient your there to see) is a great relief.

  3. Amy Hixon permalink
    November 21, 2010 12:02 am

    When my mom was in the hospital, a friend brought her a portable cd player and a couple of books on tape. She loved it, since watching tv and reading hurt her eyes after a while. The next time a friend of hers was in the hospital, she passed it all on to him. 🙂

    • givingglory permalink*
      November 21, 2010 1:13 am

      Love this! What a considerate idea. My dad’s nurses encouraged the family to bring CD’s he enjoyed while he was still unconscious. I think the CD player was already “standard issue” at that particular hospital. I will surely add your idea to my “arsenal” of wise ICU gifts. Thank you for sharing your mom’s story!

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