During her 15-year battle with leukemia, Joan Winter has wished for many things. St. Luke Auxiliary president Mary Ann Conyers was quick to grant one of those wishes when she became aware of it.
Winter reached out to Conyers to ask if recliners in the treatment room where Winter spends hours getting infusion treatments could be replaced with chairs that were easier to use.
The old, metal and plastic recliners were just too uncomfortable, Winter said.
Chief nursing officer Jessica Turner went looking for new furnishings for the treatment room. She wanted to make sure they met the hospital’s needs for disinfection and the patients’ needs for comfort.
Then she ordered three chairs for about $5,000, and the Auxiliary paid the bill.
Patients who use the treatment room receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics, or other medicines that take more than a few minutes to administer.
“Generally our patients are already distressed about being in a hospital, so we like to do everything we can to make it a more pleasant experience,” Turner said. “It can be uncomfortable to sit in the small straight-backed chairs for long infusions; these recliners give a more comfortable space to spend the time.”
Turner said patients sometimes become short of breath while lying down, and others simply prefer to snooze in a recliner rather than a bed. A recliner also can help reduce swelling of the patient’s legs, she said.
“Patients sometimes have family members who would like to spend the night so they can support their ill or recovering loved one,” Turner said. “The recliner can provide a place for the family member to be able to relax or sleep during the night while they stay with the patient.”
Conyers said the Auxiliary, through operating its thrift store, raises about $2,000 a week to be used to provide things the hospital needs and make upgrades to the facility.