Deal me in

Cottage Grove | August 18, 2017
Card games help young patient cope during crisis

“Go Fish” turned out to be a bit of a lifesaver for a young patient at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Earlier this spring, the hospital's emergency department had the difficult challenge of housing an adolescent crisis patient in a secure room for several days, according to Tim Herrmann, chief administrative officer for PeaceHealth Cottage Grove.

“Until more appropriate accommodations could be arranged, we wanted to do all we could to keep the patient feeling safe, secure and cared for,” he said.

Early in the patient’s stay, the ED nursing staff discovered that the young person enjoyed playing card games. The simple activity helped the individual stay focused and engaged.

“One of our registered nurses, Alan Lowery, developed a bond with the patient. At opportune times, the two would play a few hands of cards,” Herrmann said.

Lowery said he wasn’t the only one popping by to play and make sure the youngster was holding up well.

Michael Miller, our security officer, was paramount in spending time with this patient as well,” he said. “Michael stopped after every round and would play cards with this patient in between.”

The games proved a welcome a distraction from the situation. But it was the personal interaction with compassionate caregivers that especially gave the patient reassurance and comfort.

As Herrmann said, “It may have been a few simple hands of cards to some but for this patient—and for me—this was a Moment of Grace.”