Jelly Beans: The Best Medicine?
As healthcare professionals, we often have to help patients through some of the most difficult periods of their lives. Being hospitalized with a long-term illness can be upsetting and frustrating, not only for physical reasons, but also because of the monotony and loneliness that can set in over time.
Grant 6 staff nurse Lee Ann Ellis, RN was caring for a patient who had been fighting leukemia for quite some time. The patient had not had any visitors for several days, and was quite sad, not to mention bored. Noticing that her patient was not doing well, Lee Ann looked for a way to cheer her up.
During lunch, Lee Ann went to the gift shop and purchased some balloons, a funny card, and some jelly beans for her patient. Later on, during a break, Lee Ann took the patient downstairs and let her enjoy some sunshine and fresh air for a few moments. When oncologist Harvey Segal, MD visited the patient again that afternoon, he was amazed at the transformation. The patient who had been sad and despondent in the morning was now happy and smiling, showing off her gifts and sharing the candy.
Dr. Segal and the patient were both surprised by Lee Ann’s gesture. “I was incredibly touched by Lee Ann’s actions and willingness to go beyond the expected,” wrote Dr. Segal. For Lee Ann, it was just one more way to deliver excellent service and inspire confidence in the excellent care here at EMMC.