St. Francis Medical Center Highlights Its ICU Compassionate Listener Program at 2019 PFCC Conference
Feb 22, 2019 | St. Francis News
St. Francis Medical Center was among the notable session presenters at the 2019 Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Conference on Feb. 4 in Long Beach. St. Francis Medical Center’s featured speakers included Gina Dalrymple, RN, PHN, MSN-BC, ICU Clinical Manager, and Alice Gunderson and Santiago Ortega, Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Leads. They were supported by hospital representatives Irena Zuanic, MSN, RN, MEA-BC, Associate Chief Nursing Officer; Michelle Bogarin, Patient Satisfaction Coordinator; Jeff Barrinuevo, RN, CCRN, TNCC, ICU Clinical Supervisor; and Paulette Bradley and Maria Carrillo, members of the St. Francis Patient and Family Advisory Council.
Gina, Alice, and Santiago led the breakout session, “Expanding the Hospital’s Compassionate Listener Program, a PFAC-driven project.” As detailed in the PFCC Conference agenda, “The ICU Compassionate Listener Program was started six years ago at St. Francis Medical Center as the result of a family member’s lived experience with his son in the ICU following trauma, and partnership with hospital administration. The program has grown to expand the number of Compassionate Listeners using the hospital’s adult volunteer pool.”
That family member was Santiago Ortega. He shared how his son’s traumatic injury and hospitalization taught him the importance of being an active partner in his son’s care. From his experience, he worked with hospital leadership to develop the ICU Compassionate Listener Program. The program encourages and empowers family members to be involved in their loved one’s care. As the program lead, Santiago volunteers regularly to work with the families of patients who are in the ICU. He engages families with his skills of listening, compassionate service, empowerment, and advocacy. He encourages them to ask questions to obtain the information they need to understand their loved one’s condition and treatment. He liaises between family, medical staff and nurses to build strong therapeutic relationships, and addresses concerns as they arise.
Gina explained how this program has helped to overcome factors that can be barriers to communication for patients and family members, such as medical terminology, language, fear and exhaustion. Since implementing the program, she has seen how the program is creating a more patient and family centered environment in which patients can get well and heal. Alice outlined how PFAC-driven projects such as the ICU Compassionate Listener Program can begin with one person’s experience and vision and grow to involve nurses, doctors, and the full facility, and result in positively touching countless patients’ and family members’ lives.
Conference organizers said that this year’s event was truly inspired. They said that St. Francis Medical Center and the other session presenters sparked “new ideas of what is possible when we bring together the expertise of health care professionals with the experience of patients and families.”