Hospitals are crowded with COVID-19 patients, and it is important that they stay isolated during their recovery. But their hospital stay does not have to be lonely or boring thanks to one thoughtful idea by a group of doctors. Visitation restrictions have been heavily enforced since the start of the pandemic, but doctors want their patients to be able to stay connected to their loved ones while maintaining everyone’s safety. Doctors in 19 states have begun collecting iPads and other smart devices to keep patients in constant video contact with their loved ones. Collecting iPads for COVID patients is a great way to keep patients’ spirits up as they recover from this unwelcome virus.
Collecting iPads for COVID Patients
Barring any patients from accepting visitors could leave them in nearly-complete isolation. But doctors who wanted to lift their patients’ spirits vowed to collect donated iPads and tablets to keep their patients entertained and in the loop with their loved ones. As doctors and nurses work around the clock to keep patients comfortable and continue to improve their health, it is becoming more difficult for them to find ways to help patients reach out to their families. Especially older patients, who may not have smartphones, have been at the mercy of hospital staff in order to see their loved ones’ faces. In many ICUs, patients are prohibited from even bringing a device with them. Originating in Boston where nurses and doctors were lending their own devices to patients to video chat with their families, word quickly spread that there was a need for smart devices in hospitals. Dr. Rachel Hitt, a breast radiologist, knew that doctors and nurses lending devices to COVID patients wasn’t the safest thing for them to do, but she knew there was a need to help these patients socialize with their families and friends. She began reaching out to colleagues, family members, and friends to see if they had a device they would part with for a good cause. The people she reached out to told others and word spread quickly!
Using contactless pick-up and drop-off, Dr. Hitt’s sons collect devices in Ziploc bags off porches of people who have offered to donate. Hitt only asks that the devices are in good condition, have been wiped of all data, and have a front-facing camera. Her boys wipe the devices clean with sanitizing wipes and ensure the devices are in working condition. They then distribute them to hospitals, so far distributing 150 to 10 facilities in New England. ICU nurse Brittany Ainslie said that the arrival of donated iPads has made patient-family contact much simpler. Nurses are able to teach the patients how to use the video chat option on the tablets, and they are elated when they recognize the friendly face of a loved one on the screen. Families and friends of COVID patients are also overjoyed by hospitals collecting iPads for COVID patients, and this new ability to stay in touch with their recovering loved ones. If you would like to donate a device to your local hospital, check out iPads to Hospitals.
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