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Sacred Space

Patients Come First in the Operating Suites

If the thought of surgery has you wondering how you'll handle the anxiety of entering the operating room on your scheduled day, then you'll be encouraged to hear about Abington's patient-friendly operating rooms.

In seeking to make the operating room (OR) experience at Abington Memorial Hospital more comforting for our patients, OR nurses have created a holistic healing environment, named the Sacred Space, where nurses are dedicated to alleviating fears and putting patients at ease.

Abington's Sacred Space is a combination of a caring, healing environment (using music, lighting and relaxing murals to sooth the senses) and caring nurse behaviors.

Funded through Innovator's Circle — Abington's internal foundation which provides seed money to innovative and creative healthcare solutions — Sacred Space is a research-based model designed by a group of nurses committed to providing quality care in a holistic framework.

Scenic murals add an ambiance to formerly stark white, bare walls. Holistic principles were applied to color selection (blues, greens and pink were found to be most soothing). Additionally, the OR atmosphere, as well as the pre- and post-surgery environment, have been enhanced with the dimming of lights, soft music, warmth (provided by special heated OR gowns) and the elimination of extraneous noise and conversation.

But make no mistake, Sacred Space is so much more than murals and music... It is the enhancement of the nurse/patient relationship.

The privileged bond between nurse and patient is at the heart of Sacred Space. The nursing team focuses on caring behaviors, as the nurses' actions are directed at honoring patients at their most vulnerable moments.

"We are able to stay with patients the entire time, give them the comfort of touch, and just take time for them. We are able to do what we became nurses for in the first place." - Terri Blumenfeld, R.N.

"The nursing care I am able to provide in this caring atmosphere is so rewarding. The connection I have between my patients and myself is like no other." - Kerry Baker, R.N.

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