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Officers relieve stress for kids in crisis


June 23, 2022 | Everyday Moments

Security officer sits at desk with video monitors

Security team uses play to help young patients feel less lonely

Playdough and playing cards.

It might be surprising to see these in the security office at a hospital, but they’re tools security team members Michael Miller and Chase Meech often use with kids in crisis who come to the emergency department at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

When a pediatric crisis patient arrives, the child will stay in the ED’s secure room—for their safety—until they can be moved to an inpatient pediatric area, according to Heather Lyda, ED nurse manager. Since the room is windowless and doesn’t have a television, a young patient’s stay there can feel long and rather stressful.

From her office next to the secure room, Heather has seen and heard several heartwarming interactions between the security team and kids over the past several months.

“Michael is great at teaching card games and playing games with kids. I've seen Chase making clay sculptures with a young patient,” said Heather. “I can hear the friendly chatter outside of my office door as they try to connect with our young patients, asking about favorite movies, TV shows, pets and other interests.”

She often hears laughter and levity as the security team engages these kids and applies caring and creativity to lessen the impact of what could be a traumatic situation.

“It is heartening to see how Michael, Chase and others from the security team support our Mission by caring for our most vulnerable patients,” she said.

Officers relieve stress for kids in crisis


June 23, 2022 | Everyday Moments
Security officer sits at desk with video monitorsSecurity team uses play to help young patients feel less lonely

Playdough and playing cards.

It might be surprising to see these in the security office at a hospital, but they’re tools security team members Michael Miller and Chase Meech often use with kids in crisis who come to the emergency department at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

When a pediatric crisis patient arrives, the child will stay in the ED’s secure room—for their safety—until they can be moved to an inpatient pediatric area, according to Heather Lyda, ED nurse manager. Since the room is windowless and doesn’t have a television, a young patient’s stay there can feel long and rather stressful.

From her office next to the secure room, Heather has seen and heard several heartwarming interactions between the security team and kids over the past several months.

“Michael is great at teaching card games and playing games with kids. I've seen Chase making clay sculptures with a young patient,” said Heather. “I can hear the friendly chatter outside of my office door as they try to connect with our young patients, asking about favorite movies, TV shows, pets and other interests.”

She often hears laughter and levity as the security team engages these kids and applies caring and creativity to lessen the impact of what could be a traumatic situation.

“It is heartening to see how Michael, Chase and others from the security team support our Mission by caring for our most vulnerable patients,” she said.