Operating room staff hopes quilts provide comfort for pediatric patients
Pediatric transplant patients at The Nebraska Medical Center are resting a bit more comfortably these days, thanks to the creativity and selflessness of the hospital’s OR staff. That’s because a group of nurses decided to take hundreds of their surgical caps and create quilts for these young patients.
It all started in February, when the OR team learned that due to recommended practices, they needed to start wearing disposable surgical caps and not the cloth ones they’ve been wearing for years. "We’ve all accumulated many of these caps over the years," says Linda Marcum, OR staff nurse. "I have ones for every season and I can remember all the times I wore it."
That’s when she got an idea. "I thought ‘I really like these caps. Wouldn’t it be cool to make a quilt out of them?’" Everyone jumped on board, donating money and more than 200 caps to the cause. Marcum offered to rip the caps to get them ready, as sewing isn’t her thing. "I said ‘I’ll rip the caps, just don’t give me a sewing machine!’"
Her colleague, Kathy Donovan, surgical technologist, together with other staff members, sewed the quilts together. Donovan also belongs to several quilt groups who sewed the backing. "It was so nice to use the caps," says Donovan. "They made really colorful quilts." So far, more than 20 quilts are completed, with more in the works.
The team decided the quilts should be given to our pediatric transplant patients. "We hope they can bring some joy or maybe brighten their day," says Marcum. "They have their whole life to adjust to their new normal. I have five kids and a few were really attached to their blankets. We just felt these kids would benefit."
Wendy Grant, MD, transplant surgeon, was honored to accept the quilts on behalf of her team and patients. "I think it is remarkable the wonderful operating room nurses think so much of our kids," remarks Grant. "They have limited exposure to our patients, but can have a huge impact on their lives and the lives of their families. The operation is just a few hours in the whole transplant process and I know each patient and parent is treated as if they were the only transplant patient ever. It can make the most stressful event in their lives a tolerable one – in an environment where they are reassured their child will be taken care of in a professional and loving manner."