While tidying up her patient’s room, Claire Kleinmeyer, RN, came across holiday decorations in a bag.
“My patient told me her sister had sent the decorations, but she wasn’t sure what to do with them,” says Kleinmeyer, who works on Level 2 John Colloton Pavilion. “So, of course, I said, ‘Why don’t we decorate your room to get us in the holiday mood?’”
And decorate they did.
Creating a winter wonderland
With two different sets of garland sent by the patient’s family, Kleinmeyer helped turn the room into a winter wonderland, complete with a snowman on the wall.
“This patient has been with us for some time,” she says. “I knew that she’d be with us through the new year, so it became a priority to me to make sure she felt the holiday cheer.”
After the initial decorations were in place, Kleinmeyer found some other supplies from the unit to complete the room’s holiday transformation.
“When I was finished, the smile on her face was unforgettable,” she says. “Seeing a true smile and bright eyes from a patient who has been through so much brings me incredible joy.”
Making a world of difference
No patient wants to be in the hospital for the holidays. With visitor restrictions in place due to COVID-19, it can be even harder to make the holiday season special.
But it’s a challenge Kleinmeyer and her colleagues work tirelessly to try and fill.
“We do our best to spend more quality time with our patients and really get to know them because of the lack of time they get to spend with their loved ones,” she says. “As challenging as nursing can be, the reward is far greater.”