For the past week, when a patient is discharged from Stony Brook Hospital strains of “Here Comes the Sun” is one of the last things they hear as they leave. In fact, to make sure the little victory over the pandemic is shared with everyone, the hospital plays a few bars of the song over its speaker system so staff and patients all know about it.
If a COVID patient is extubated - meaning they are taken off a respirator - the hospital plays a wind chime, like a symbol of that first unassisted breath.
“It gives our patients and staff hope,” said Nicole Rossol, Chief Patient Experience Officer at Stony Brook Hospital.
It’s just another thing that the hospital is doing to help bring light to a situation causing pain and suffering across the world.
The idea started with nursing staff, according to Rossol. The nurses had been thinking about how to symbolize when a patient is extubated from a respirator or discharged with COVID-19 to celebrate each and every little victory. When you are surrounded by the illness it’s hard to know when there is good news.
“All the staff who bedside and in the trenches, they’re not aware,” said Rossol. “We thought, how do we let them know?”
Rossol, whose job is to make sure patients, family, and staff are provided the best quality care and help them navigate through the hospital experience, worked with the telecommunications team and figured out a system to alert them to play the sounds overhead. Nurses call the operators when a patient is being discharged to pay the song and respiratory therapy staff alert them to play the chimes.
“It’s really beautiful,” she said. “To hear people cheering. People celebrate it.”
Watch a video of a Stony Brook burse celebrate as a patient is discharged below.
Video: Courtesy of Stony Brook Medicine.
The sounds can be heard twenty-four hours a day seven days a week and is uplifting for the staff to know their efforts are paying off as they work so hard every day.
“It reminds us that we will get through this,” said Rossol. “It’s nice for patients to hear. They are so grateful. And it’s a nice way for them to leave the hospital.”
The hospital intends to continue paying the sounds for every COVID patient discharged.
“No matter how long it takes,” said Rossol.