This is the situation in every hospital, long before covid-19 caused visitors to be restricted.
As the coronavirus pandemic has forced hospitals to impose strict restrictions on visitors and clergy, the work of people like Quinteros has become even more important, say health care experts.They don’t just keep the rooms clean of harmful germs. Many also try to lighten the mood with smiles or jokes, provide encouragement when patients lose hope and offer an attentive ear when patients need to process their emotions.And so it was that a housekeeper from Guatemala and a retired Air Force colonel met in a hospital room in Florida. And slowly, one began to heal the other.“I don’t think she realized at the time what she was doing for me,” Denney told CNN in recent interview. “She was saving my life.”
When Covid-19 patients began to arrive at Dr. Phillips, Melinda Plumley, the chaplain manager, realized her staff would not be able to do their job as usual. Fears of contagion made it impossible to hold the face-to-face conversations that can help patients process difficult emotions.So Plumley turned to the housekeepers and other staff members who visit patients’ rooms each day.“We put together some material of easy, open-ended questions for staff to get the patient talking,” she said. “And now we have patients who say that if it weren’t for the woman who cleans my room, I’m not sure I would have made it.”