Technology today allows everyone to connect easily, no matter where they are. Video calls can serve as the next best thing to in-person communication. After the visitation policy changed, nurses and staff knew patients would still desire some sort of contact with loved ones.
On April 1, Patient Relations at UF Health Jacksonville began offering an alternative way for families to rekindle connections amid social distancing requirements — televisits through the Zoom application. This way, patients could see and talk with their family members online. These televisits have instilled a sense of peace for families, as they’ve given all participants opportunities to express their chosen words and emotions in a more meaningful way than a simple phone call or text.
Nurses at UF Health North have spent extra time with patients, teaching them how to video chat with their family and friends before surgery or treatment. Once patients saw a familiar face on their screen, it eased fears and built trust with the nurses.
Although it seems like a simple step to take before a procedure, patients have been extremely appreciative of these gestures. Connecting virtually yet visually has been a noteworthy method of communication for all during these trying times.
“The comments and experiences from this innovative approach have been astounding,” said Erta Livingston, PhD, director of patient relations at UF Health Jacksonville. “These televisits trigger many emotions for patients and their loved ones in this time of the ‘new normal.’ Many of them have told us how thankful they are.”