The healing Environment
You, a friend or loved one are faced with the need to go to the hospital. Can the type of room you choose for your self or your loved ones make a difference in how well a person heals?
Absolutely. If you feel better, you will heal better. If given the opportunity, for no extra cost, wouldn't you choose the best healing environment for you or your loved ones?
Absolutely. That is exactly what the new private rooms are delivering today. For no extra cost over a shared room, the new private rooms at Mercy Medical Center are delivering privacy, comfort for the patient and visitors, and advanced technology in support of Mercy's outstanding doctors, nurses and staff.
The new private rooms at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids are designed and built to aid patient healing while delivering comfort and safety for all involved in the healing process. That includes doctors, nurses, technicians, staff, specialists, family, friends and most importantly, the patient.
The rooms are true healing environments, Wall-to-Wall, floor to ceiling, bed to bath. Additionally, they provide a measure of comfort, privacy, confidentiality, the most advanced technology, and warmth not previously found in hospital environments.
When somebody feels poorly enough to actually be admitted to the hospital, they are many times afraid and overcome with loneliness. This is when the companionship and comfort of friends and family is most important. Given that loneliness can lead to depression, the rooms support and encourage active companionship to combat loneliness and promote healing.
To accommodate a healing environment where friends and family can hang out with the patient without disrupting staff, the new rooms are split into three zones.
- One zone for the patient. This area is focused on making the patient comfortable and treatable. This area gives the patient control of the entertainment, media, bedding and environmental controls such as heating and cooling. The patient zone features control of the flat-screen TV monitor, lights and radio, DVD movie player and television.
- There is a Zone for the nurse and staff. This is a zone where they may work freely without disturbing the family or visitors. It reduces the need to ask somebody if "they could please move" and is arranged in a way that gives the staff access to any controls, devices or medical equipment. The nurse zone has room to accommodate the Computer on Wheels and an area for supplies.
- There is a Zone for the patient's visitors, friends and family. This zone includes a desk area, storage for personals and games, wireless and wired internet access and a recliner and a couch, both of which that can be made into full length comfortable beds-allowing a family member to stay with the patient through lonely nights. There is also an information center that both the patient and their family and guests can view status of the patient as well as obtain information regarding the staff, pain management and patient objectives. This zone even has a large digital clock and calendar to reduce patient disorientation.
Research has shown that this zoned environment makes it easier for people to keep the patient company and provide comfort, reduce patient loneliness, and at the same time, allows the staff to insure patient improvement.
Music soothes… Laughter calms… Both can be delivered by the music,TV and DVD systems in each of Mercy's Private rooms. They are in the rooms because they promote healing.
In 1993 Daniel Goldman & Joel Gurin's work on psycho-immunology revealed that nerve fibers are present in every part of the immune system. These fibers provide biological communication between the nerve endings and the immune system.
The scientists that worked on that project believe there are direct links between a person's thoughts, attitudes, perceptions, and emotions, and the health of the immune system. Music and entertainment can have positive and calming effects on those very nerve fibers and healing.
In hospital environments such as Mercy's Private Rooms, the relaxing and healing power of entertainment provides escape and generates positive feedback for not only patients, but their family and visitors as well. They support an emotionally positive visitor and family "zone" in support of the friends and family keeping the patient company.
The in-room DVD player and entertainment center give the patient the control over the character of the room. He or she can use the media center to transform the room from one focused on sickness, to a place for friends and family to share laughs and hang out while you get better. Having people "over for a movie" makes for a better hospital stay.
In hospitals, music can help alleviate pain, elevate patient's moods, counteract depression, promote movement for physical rehabilitation or calm and induce sleep. In pediatric wards, music can reduce fear and apprehension. Music and Television work on the conscious, automatic and subconscious nervous system.
So there's the answer as to why you would have an entertainment center where a patients can control their own music, DVD's, television and movies. To heal better!
Games Improve Stroke Victims
Games. We love games. If we were sick, we all agree, a room should have a game console. We kids don't need proof that interactive games will help us feel better if we were stuck in the hospital. We do think they might even help adults. And we know you'll make us prove that one. So here's what we found.
Besides being fun and taking our mind off being sick, games heal. But don't take our word for it. Researchers at Hampton University, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes have scientifically shown that there is a healing side to interactive games.
Consider this, if somebody gets injured, they repair the injury, then rehabilitate with stretching and exercise. So if you can repair muscles that way, why not the brain?
The researchers did just that. They used virtual reality games to help stroke victims regain motor skills. How you ask?
Well, they used snowboarding games, virtual stair stepping games and underwater fishing games to help the stroke patients rehabilitate their brains. It worked so well that they came up with a big medical name for gameplay.
Virtual Reality-Induced Cortical Reorganization
and Associated Locomotor Recovery in Chronic Stroke. 1
In short, the doctors used VR games to exercise the patient's brain's in a make believe world. The brain said, "Hey I can do this. Let's take this to the Real World!"
The patients practiced in virtual reality and regained motor function in "Real" reality.
So now you know, what we already knew. Games heal and every room should be like these with wireless Internet and a place to plug in an Xbox360 or PS3.
1.: Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"Virtual Reality-Induced Cortical Reorganization and Associated Loco motor Recovery in Chronic Stroke©2005 American Heart Association