Massage Benefits Families Waiting for Surgical Patients
Despite an attentive staff, caring physicians and excellent medical care, a trip to the hospital is stressful, not just for patients but for their families, too. Massage therapy students are helping some families relax while they wait for their loved one at Gulf Coast Medical Center. The therapists work in the surgery waiting room, offering their service free of charge.
"This program partners with our initiative of promoting healing by instilling a calm, quiet, and relaxing environment and atmosphere," says Heather James, guest service coordinator, surgical services. "We have seen our waiting families benefit by having their stress and fears relieved, even if only for a few minutes."
Heather says that many of these families have waited all day and are affected by the wait. "You can see the difference the 15-minute chair massage makes for these families," she says. The therapists are students with Florida Academy, an accredited massage school in Fort Myers. An instructor is always present to oversee their work. Depending on availability, the students work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
"The patients and their families benefit from something so simple," Heather says. "It's a way for us to help them through an otherwise stressful time."
The service has been expanded to include inpatient areas at Gulf Coast Medical Center. Claude Houle, administrative director of surgery services, says there are plans to provide soothing nature sounds in the massage area.
"Families have responded positively to this program, which they refer to as a 'wow' experience," Claude says. "It ties into our focus of promoting patient and family-centered care."
This collaborative care between patient and the health care team ensures that the patient receives the best and safest treatment option.
"The patients and their families benefit from something so simple," says Heather James, guest service coordinator, surgical services.
O.R. Waiting Room Massages