More than 3,000 cards expected to be distributed during third annual event
Most of us remember elementary school when we handed out Valentine’s to classmates and at the end of the day beamed as we looked at those we received. Nurses at Parkland Health & Hospital System hope to replicate that and put smiles on countless faces by delivering Valentine’s to every patient throughout the system from Feb. 11-14. It’s the third year Parkland nurses have spread the love on Valentine’s Day.
In 2016, nurses delivered more than 2,500 signed valentines to hospitalized patients and those in Parkland’s network of community-based health centers. This year staff expects to deliver more than 3,000 cards. Signing the cards, they say, is a labor of love that shows the nurses’ compassion and care for their patients. For those patients who do not have diet restrictions, nurses are also distributing small gift bags filled with valentine treats.
“Our goal is to provide high quality care for every patient we serve. Our support goes beyond what is traditionally thought of as medical care and includes the emotional needs as well. We hope to put a smile on their face and show that we’re here for them,” said Karen Watts, RN, NEA-BC, Parkland’s Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.
Parkland’s Professional Excellence in Nursing (PEN) Council sponsored the project and set about providing English- and Spanish-language valentines for their colleagues to personalize for their patients. Parkland’s leadership also took part in “sharing their heart” by signing cards.
Seeing the smiles on patients’ faces was a bright spot for Stephanie Nicomedes, RN.
“It made them feel loved on Valentine’s Day while they were in the hospital. It put a smile on all my patients’ faces that day whether they were in pain or nervous about an upcoming surgery,” Nicomedes said.
Her sentiment was echoed by Pamela Ngambia, RN, who along with Nicomedes, works in Parkland’s general surgery unit.
“One of my patients was so happy after I gave her a baggy with treats that she opened up to me later and started giving me some life advice regarding raising children,” Ngambia recalled. “My patients greatly appreciated the bags as our way of showing them love and care.”
For some, the nurses’ valentine will be the only one they receive.
“That’s why it’s even more special,” Watts noted. “We believe every one of our patients is special and we are truly honored to serve them. Not only does it brighten their day, it makes ours brighter, too.”
For more information about services available at Parkland, please visit www.parklandhospital.com