Donors empower front-line staff to provide better patient care

Through the Foundation’s Special Grant Program, donors give members of our hospital team the tools they need.

The Foundation’s donor-funded Special Grant Program allows hospital staff to submit an application for funding for something that will make a difference to their work, that will benefit patients and staff alike, and help the Hospital meet its strategic priorities.

This year many unique items were funded, including MRI Knee Wedges, Pressure Reducing Cushions and a Pivot Disc. We met with the staff who applied for these items to learn more about how they make a difference.

Christine Schott, Team Lead, MRI says that the knee wedges help provide comfort to just about every patient who receives an MRI. “The MRI bed is incredibly hard and flat. Some procedures take up to 60minutes to complete. Patients need to remain very still on their back and it can be very uncomfortable and also may put strain on the lower back” said Christine.

The knee wedges are placed under the patient’s knees and take almost all the pressure off the lower back. They are light-weight, easy to position, durable and easy to clean between patients.

58 new Pressure Reducing Cushions will also help many patients at GGH. These are used to help patients who must lie or sit for long periods each day. This can be very uncomfortable and it can also put patients at risk for skin breakdown.

Karen Rolland RN, Clinical Educator, Professional Practice Lead Medicine explained that at $35-a-piece, the cushions provide a lot of value in terms of patient care and safety. The cushions have been distributed for use hospital-wide. They can be positioned just about anywhere under or around patients to help relieve pressure and they can also be rolled up and placed between knees or behind the lower back.

A brand new tool that was introduced to the Hospital through this year’s grant is a Pivot Disc. The Pivot Disc is a transfer device that helps a patient to stand, or to move from one place to another, such as from bed to a chair, or from a chair to a wheel chair or to a commode.

Courtney Davidson, Occupational Therapy – Physiotherapy Aide at GGH had used the Pivot Discs at another Hospital and was eager to introduce them to GGH because she had seen the impact they have on both patients and staff.

“It gives patients confidence and independence and this helps preserve their dignity” explains Courtney.

One example shared, was that of a patient who refused to get out of bed for almost a week. Finally after some convincing, healthcare providers were able to use the Pivot Disc to move the patient from their bed to a chair. The patient regained confidence and was excited to try it again.

For another patient, it restored independence and dignity by giving them the opportunity to get up and use the washroom on their own instead of having to rely on a bedpan.

For staff, the pivot disc reduces the time required to help a patient stand, and it also reduces the risk of strains and injury caused by lifting.

More than 60 other items were funded this year and the Foundation continues to receive emails and phone calls from staff who are excited to tell us about the positive impact of their grant.

We are so grateful for our donors who made all this possible through their generosity.