Hospitals are well equipped to deal with medical emergencies, but crises of the spirit? Not so much. Enter Code Lavender, which, like a Code Blue, offers a form of resuscitation—but without the chest compressions. Instead, when a Code Lavender is called—whether the person in need is a patient, family member or someone on staff dealing with an emotional or spiritual crisis—the rapid response team comes armed with a bevy of potential therapies. Depending on the extent and nature of the need, they may provide reiki, healing touch therapy, aromatherapy, guided imagery, nutrition therapy and/or pastoral care.
The brainchild of ExperiaHealth, a company devoted to improving the patient and staff experience, Code Lavender addresses everything from a patient’s fear of an upcoming surgery to a family member’s worry or stress about a loved one and a nurse’s despair over having just lost a patient.
The program had its beginnings in a simple act of collective goodwill. “When a patient was in crisis, everyone on the hospital staff was asked to stop and send a healing intention or prayer to his room,” says Bridget Duffy, MD, chief executive officer at ExperiaHealth. “Eventually, Code Lavender morphed into not only sending intentions, but sending a healing services team to anyone in need, be it patient, family member or staff.”
Several hospitals around the country now have a healing team in place, including the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. And it’s been of particular benefit to healthcare workers: At the Cleveland Clinic, 40 percent of all Code Lavender requests were from employees.
What’s On Nurses’ Nightstands?
Four books worth a read.
Get Motivated! Overcome Any Obstacle, Achieve Any Goal, and Accelerate Your Success with Motivational DNA by Tamara Lowe and Rudolph Giuliani. (Doubleday)
I’m fascinated by how to effectively teach/motivate patients (and myself) to take charge of their own health. This book looks at how different personalities get motivated and has already been valuable in helping me determine care plans for my patients. —Jonathan Steele, RN, holistic nurse in private practice, Scranton, PA
A Fistful of Collars: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn
This is number five in a series of private eye novels narrated by a mixed-breed German Shepherd who couldn’t quite make the cut for K-9 duty… but neither could his owner. Great romp of a read for stress-busting after a long day at work. —Coleen Kenny, RN, MS, division of geriatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital in Richmond
Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening by Roger Nierenberg
This is about how a symphony orchestra solved problems. I picked it up because I felt it would be inspirational and, it is. It’s helping me to become a better listener, something I feel we all need to be reminded of from time to time. —Melina Thorpe, RN, director of Cancer Services, Glendale (CA) Adventist Medical Center
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
I like it because the story builds up to something melancholy and tragic, while also giving some insight into human behavior and motivation. —Melanie Lukesh, FNP-BC, family nurse practitioner, Canton Potsdam Hospital
How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
I am fascinated at how sports, in particular soccer (Futball), meld with society and stretch beyond the pitch (field). —Kimberly Bertini, BSN, RN, RNC, Magnet Program Coordinator, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, Zion, Illinois