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Hometown Hero: Nurses champion new COVID-19 related delirium treatment

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 11:39 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Delirium prevention champions, that’s what nurses Jennifer Melara and Suzanne Maye are called for adding a human touch to patient’s treatment in unit 75; the non-critical COVID-19 area.

“In terms of stimulating their cognition, we largely focused on the family virtual visitation but we also collaborated with our arts and medicine program here,” said Melara.

In full PPE, the duo does the little things that many take for granted like small talk and opening the blinds in the morning.

“I talk about my family all the time to everybody,” said Patricia Fountain, one of the first patients. “Everybody knows about my family.”

It meant video conferencing for 80-year-old Fountain and her daughter who couldn’t come to visit as fountain fought the virus.

“The tv don’t talk back to you,” added Fountain. “You can talk all day to the tv but it don’t answer you, but if somebody’s in the room they’ll answer you one way or another.”

Health care professionals say about an hour of human interaction a day would make all the difference in overcoming COVID-19 induced delirium.

“One of the family members told me that now they feel like I’m part of their family now,” added Maye.

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