A typical hospital stay includes pain, anxiety and even fear.
Visiting a loved one can be a difficult experience, too. Nobody likes to see someone they care about in pain.
Although health-care professionals are trained and experienced, they have demanding jobs with a daunting workload. Caring for hurting, anxious patients creates a level of stress and drama well above the workplace norm.
In other words, maintaining a positive atmosphere is a constant challenge.
Morale is one of the reasons St. Joseph’s General Hospital employs a director of pastoral care and ethics.
As Steve Hill told the Record last week, part of his department’s mandate “is to be caring for the patients, caring for patients’ families but also to be caring for the staff.”
This week is Pastoral Care Week at St. Joe’s.
From Monday to Friday, sweet treats are being offered to the almost 1,700 staff, physicians and volunteers at the hospital to thank them for their efforts. Local musicians are playing daily in Sisters Cafe.
Hill stresses that he could not organize these events without community support. He marvels that no musician has ever declined a request to donate their time and talent.
Volunteer musicians this week are: Thomas Walton, Time for Uke, Dick Stuart, David Somers, Sue Pyper, Sue Medley, Indigo Jazz, Tammy Fassaert, Blaine Dunaway, Divertimento, Tracy Canil, Helen Austin, Anela and Anderson Jazz Syndicate.
Local businesses that donated include: Tim Hortons, Quality Foods, Hot Chocolates, Comox Valley Funeral Home, Fifth Street Florist and the Best Western Plus Westerly Hotel.
Hill loves the symbiotic relationship between hospital and community. On one end, the facility cares for the Comox Valley’s people when they need help.
“The Comox Valley is still a small enough community that the people get it, that they want to take care of the hospital that takes care of them,” Hill marvels.