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My Story: Stony Brook University Hospital Launches Initiative For Nurses To Connect With Their Patients

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A new initiative is helping health care workers at Stony Brook University Hospital learn more about their patients, even as they are intubated and unable to speak.

Patients silenced by COVID-19 are regaining their voices due to a new initiative called "My Story." In April, hospital staff began reaching out to their families and asked them to fill out a poster about their loved one, so their caregivers can get to know them a little bitter. Details include nicknames, professions, favorite music, pets, and event a picture of the patients.

"It's really making you see the person they were on the outside because you kind of can sometimes forget that," nurse Amanda Groveman told CBS2's Nina Kapur. "You're taking care of the patient. You're trying to keep them stable. You're trying to do your best job as you can, but especially being so isolated it gets to be really difficult."


These posters are hung on the doors and inside the rooms in the Intensive Care Unit. Helping caregivers form connections with their patients is something that's become very challenging without visitors and with so many patients intubated.

"Even with all the impersonality and the closed-off spaces and the personal protection and everything being covered, we can kind of uncover a lot the personal aspects of our patients and of ourselves as well. I think it's very important when we are working in these conditions," nurse Sara Spronz said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In a little less than a month, the hospital has successfully put up almost 100 posters. It's an initiative they hope to continue and spread to other units in order to give patients their voices back and give nurses an opportunity to form deeper connections.

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