Observation Nurses Brighten a Patient’s Day

Observation Nurses Brighten a Patient’s Day

Recently, on the Observation Unit, we were caring for an elderly gentleman with a history of dementia. He had been a patient on our windowless unit for several days. Though we turn the lights down and try to facilitate a restful environment in the evenings, this gentleman was having trouble distinguishing between day and night. This, in turn, was making it difficult for him to sleep.   

Kim Powell, R.N. had a brilliant idea to help improve his situation. She and Mary Etta Barbour, R.N. got together and put their creative talents to work. They made a window with a valance out of construction paper and card stock. Next, they made inserts: the sun to indicate daytime and moon to indicate night. That night he slept much better! 

The next morning, he was aware that it was daytime. Most importantly, he and his family had a good day together.

-Marianne McKiernan, R.N.


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