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On Nov. 11, the hospital’s Gray Surgical Family Waiting Area moved into a newly-renovated space on the second floor of the Yawkey Building. This move paves the way for critical expansion of the Electrophysiology Lab on the first floor of the Gray Building.
“Although we are moving to a new physical location, the volunteers remain the true heart and soul of the Family Waiting Area,” says Jackie Nolan, director of the Volunteer Department, which oversees the program.
The Family Waiting Area was established more than 30 years ago under the leadership of Maeve Blackman, former director of the MGH Volunteer Department. The early years involved paper-tape communications between recovery room personnel and a volunteer sitting at a desk in a hallway. Today, the volunteers offer a combination of personalized and state-of-the-art support within a dedicated waiting room area. There, families are kept informed of a patient’s progress and doctors can personally and privately communicate surgical results. From the outset, the aim of the program has been to make families feel a part of a patient’s surgical process, from pre-op to their arrival in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit or Intensive Care Unit.
MGH Volunteers are responsible for supporting a diverse population of more than 2,000 family members, friends and other visitors each month. The team of 36 volunteers is responsible for keeping families up to date on the timing of procedures and the location of the patient. Tracking is done via Epic, the electronic medical record, and in partnership with the surgical liaison nurse, who circulates throughout the operating rooms.
“The ongoing contributions of the Family Waiting Area volunteers can’t be overstated,” says Nolan. “They are the point of contact for so many of our patients and families when they are at their most vulnerable, and they truly make a difference every day.”
Advances volunteers have led over the years include the introduction of multi-modal interpreter services, a recovery room Perioperative Family Liaison support program, on-site escorts, and online reporting and waiting area redesigns to enhance traffic flow and comfort.The Yawkey Family Waiting Area will be open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm, families will wait in the Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center.
- Mar | 4 | 2021
Are Two Masks Better Than One? What You Need to Know About Ensuring the Fit and Function of Your Mask in Community Settings
While the research is clear that wearing a mask can be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus, one new question that many are asking is whether or not wearing two masks is better than one. Erica Shenoy, MD, PhD, discusses the best type of mask to wear when out and about in your community.
- Mar | 1 | 2021
Two PICU nurses awarded as DAISY Honorees for exceptional patient care
- Feb | 26 | 2021
When Boston began to take COVID-19 pandemic precautions last year, the Boston Lyric Opera had just opened a production of Bellini’s Norma. Artistic director Esther Nelson turned to a longtime friend of the organization to help them determine whether the season could go on.
- Feb | 26 | 2021
Merle Adelson and Paul Freedman had planned to marry on Friday, January 22, 2021. But instead, their nuptials took place on January 11, in a Jewish ceremony inside one of Mass General’s intensive care units.
- Feb | 26 | 2021
Employees were invited to celebrate the virtual launch of Black Excellence @ Mass General Brigham. The group provides a new affirming space for Black employees to create a community of support to encourage the welcoming, success, and advancement of Black employees at Mass General Brigham.