December 19, 2019

Around the nation: Nurse acts as 'Santa's helper' to comfort pediatric patients

Daily Briefing

    Joe Schmuecker, a nurse in the pediatric ED at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said he helps Santa Claus respond to letters from patients, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Iowa, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

    • Iowa: Joe Schmuecker, a nurse in the pediatric ED at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), said he helps Santa Claus respond to letters from kids that visit the hospital's ED. Schmuecker so far has received between 50 and 75 letters in his mailbox for Santa. Schmuecker said the letters help calm child patients who are in the hospital. "We needed a way to take their mind off of what was about to happen or what was happening. So when they come here it's not: 'Hey I went there and they poked me,' [it's] 'Hey, I went there and Santa wrote me a letter,'" he said (Scheinblum, KCRG, 12/16).
    • New Jersey: Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill, a $356 million replacement hospital for Inspira Health Center Woodbury, opened to patients on Sunday. Fifty-nine patients were transferred from the Woodbury hospital to the new Inspira location. The Woodbury facility has closed its doors as a hospital, but will stay open as a satellite ED and will offer outpatient services (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/17).
    • Pennsylvania: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center through a partnership with Penn State College of Nursing is launching a program that will provide sexual assault examinations via telehealth. Through the program, nurses at Hershey Medical Center who have completed sexual assault nurse examiner training will use telehealth services to provide patients with medical examinations and recommend follow-up care (Drees, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/16).

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