The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people feeling unsettled due to the unprecedented changes that have happened in response to the virus. With all the uncertainty of what the future may bring, it can be easy to focus on the fear. However, staff at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center (MRMC) in Mechanicsville, VA, are trying to give people a reason to stay positive.
“The discharge of a COVID-19 patient lifts our spirits as a health care team,” says Laurie Efremidis, pharmacy director at MRMC. “It shows that our preparations and continuous review of treatment recommendations have worked! We have the opportunity to watch loved ones reconnect and truly see the impact we have in our community.”
It was that uplifting feeling she wanted to share with others, beyond the hospital walls. This is when Laurie decided to help create a COVID-19 Discharge Celebration Flower Garden. Each flower represents one patient who has successfully beaten the virus and returned home.
“Like others, I have spent a lot of time reading about the fight against COVID-19, including the response of other health care organizations,” Laurie shares. “One evening, I came across an article from a health system in the Midwest who had created this garden as a way to celebrate and provide a sense of encouragement to the associates and community. The daffodil had been chosen as the flower symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings.”
After sharing her the idea with others at MRMC, Laurie was quickly planting the first 62 flowers in the garden. The garden is located in the main circle at the hospital entrance for everyone to enjoy.
“This is an uplifting, calming visual for our patients, families and staff to see every day at MRMC,” says Leigh Sewell, president, Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center. “We thank Laurie for her creativity and compassion and look forward to continuing to add to the garden.”
Other staff members quickly got on board, suggesting ways in which they could make the garden more unique. For instance, Chief Nursing Officer Robin Johnson suggested having nurses from the discharging unit be the ones to plant any additional flowers in their patient’s honor. Anytime a patient is discharged, members of the care team also line up at the hospital entrance and cheer them on during their discharge.
“I think the country as a whole is overwhelmed with staggering statistics, which have instilled fear in many,” Laurie continues. “This celebration garden is a visual reminder of the successes we have also seen and is an important message for the community and the valued associates who are supporting this fight – hope is not lost. We aren’t giving up and we will overcome this together.”
Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.