Good Samaritan Implements Comfort Care for Nurses

When the Pandemic began back in March of 2020, Multicare named Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup as their Covid 19 Hospital. The Good Sam team jumped into overdrive led by then Executive Director of Operations, Kristi Hartway. “We opened up an Incident Command Center immediately and began dealing with challenges from a lack of PPE and flipping existing units, to how to best keep our staff and patients safe,” said Hartway.

As the Pandemic progressed, so did the needs of the hospital and Hartway made the switch to Chief Nurse Executive to align with her experience and her passion. That progression also led Hartway to the conclusion that the hospital’s front-line workers needed support emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

According to Hartway, “The community has been tremendous in their support bringing food and good wishes, one patient even paid to name a star the ICU Healthcare Heroes.”

But in August, as the 5th Covid wave was taking its toll on the nursing staff, Hartway borrowed a page from the Comfort Program in the Palliative Care Unit. The hospital took their existing comfort therapies program which traditionally relieved suffering for patients and used similar tactics to help staff.

First, there was a harpist that came in and played for staff every week. The soothing atmosphere changed the whole mood. Emails from staff confirmed her instincts, so Hartway began to implement other relaxation methods including massage and aroma therapy. A quick 15-minute chair massage or hand massage can be just what a nurse needs to keep going during a grueling 12-hour shift.

Next up for the Comfort Program is to create a Serenity or Reflection room for staff to go to when they need time to regroup after something difficult has occurred.

Hartway passionately encourages others through her actions and her words. She said, “We will take it day by day and continue to be hopeful. We have the vision to get through this.”

Good Samaritan Hospital is in Puyallup. If you’d like to take part in supporting their nursing staff’s comfort program, visit .multicare.org/location/good-samaritan-hospital Lynn Castle