ACH introduces new evening care program
Alliance Community Hospital (ACH) has recently introduced a new program designed to promote privacy and quiet at night for patients.
"The Nursing Leadership Team at ACH felt strongly about returning to the basic fundamentals of nursing care," said Vice President Patient Care Services Amy Antonacci, RN, BSN. "It was decided to reinvent HS care (evening care) and rename it 'Remember, Everyone's Sleeping Tonight,' or REST."
Every evening at 9 p.m., the song "Blessings" by Laura Story is played overhead in patient rooms at a soothing audio level, signaling the beginning of the REST program and acting as a reminder to staff and visitors to be mindful of sleeping patients. This song reflects ACH's Planetree philosophy of Patient-Centered Care and specifically, its spirituality component.
During this time, the nursing staff aids in the process of preparing patients for sleep as if they were at home.
"Part of our Planetree Patient-Centered philosophy is to demystify and humanize care…this is done by explaining what to expect during the night in a bed away from home," ICU/PCU Director Debbie Clemens explained.
While many hospitals are addressing noise levels, ACH felt this was only one component that should be highlighted.
REST also includes: providing personal care, an evening bath, a backrub with essential oils to relieve the sore, tired muscles that can result from lying in bed all day, delivering an evening snack that has been specifically designed for each patient, cleaning the patient's room on a schedule suitable to the patient, refreshing bed linens, positioning the patient for comfort, dimming the lights, and discussing the plan for the overnight routine. This means determining which light will be turned on if care needs to be given, what time tests will be done, and how to call if help is needed.
"We wanted to go back to the heart of what nursing care really means to a patient," Antonacci said. "Anyone can turn out the light and close the door, but we wanted to provide more. We decided to focus on our patients using the beauty found in the art and science of nursing care."