By Anne Millheiser
I am very proud of the fact that Rush has two patient and family resource centers on our campus. I believe this speaks to how important the patient and visitor experience is here and how we want to support our patients and visitors both physically, as well as emotionally. I feel lucky to be a part of enhancing visitor experience through managing these centers.
I have found that visitors are often drawn to both of our centers because they are quiet, comfortable spaces, amidst the often hectic hospital environment. Upon entering the centers, visitors are greeted by a social worker and are often surprised to learn that the centers offer more than just a space to relax.
The resource centers offer information on Rush services, community support, health and wellness topics and the latest research happening at Rush. Additionally, the resource center staff is available to listen to visitors, who at times need to talk about the difficult emotions that they may be experiencing due to changes in their own health or the health of someone close to them.
Responding to Our Patients’ Needs
Over the years we have introduced new programs to our visitors, many based on comments we have heard from them. For instance, we have heard from visitors that they would like to know what resources are available to them; however, they find it difficult to leave the bedside of their loved one. Similarly, visitors are hesitant to leave the family lounges where they may be waiting for news from their medical team. After hearing this feedback, we implemented a program where resource center representatives come to inpatient units, family lounges, the professional building and other public spaces to see if visitors have outstanding resource needs.
Another popular initiative offered through the centers is free chair massage. Every Friday between 1 and 4 p.m. the Tower Resource Center offers free 10-minute massages to hospital visitors. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from our visitors, who find this a great way to manage stress. And we are planning to introduce more stress management programming in the near future.
I invite you to stop by either of our resource centers to relax, browse or talk to a staff member. We are located on the fourth floor of the Tower and on the fourth floor of the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or call us at our helpline at (800) 757-0202.