Nurses sprucing up pediatric ward

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Being in the hospital to be treated for an illness is never easy, but for children a trip to the local infirmary can be traumatizing.

Realizing this, the pediatric nurses at L.V. Stabler Memorial hospital have taken money from their pockets and donated it as well as their time off to redecorate the pediatric wing at the hospital in a more &uot;kid-friendly&uot; fashion.

Instead of mundane greens and beiges, the walls of the pediatric ward are now colored with lively yellows, blues and pinks – colors that will make any toddlers eyes dance, but will have an especially welcoming effect on the sick children who have to stay in the ward for a while.

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Stabler’s Pediatric Nurse Manager Gayl Newton and nurses Melissa Hornsby and Judy Smith spearheaded the effort, and are thrilled with the results.

&uot;We have finished three of the four rooms so far, and they look great,&uot; Newton said. &uot;We have had a very positive response from the children and their parents.&uot;

In addition to the lively paint colors, the rooms now sport Scooby Doo, Precious Moments and Looney Toons themed decals.

&uot;The nurses bought the decals and decorated the rooms with them,&uot; Newton said. &uot;The hospital donated the paint and special wall-covering.&uot;

The special wall-covering is a definite bonus for the ward, the nurse said, because it allows the children to draw or color on the walls without doing permanent damage.

&uot;We can just spray them with cleaner and wipe the drawings off of the wall,&uot; Newton said. &uot;It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to allow them to have fun this way.&uot;

The redecorating project began in September 2002, and has been an ongoing labor of love.

&uot;We hope to have the last room finished next month,&uot; Newton said. &uot;We are also putting new mattresses on the parent’s cots that we keep in the rooms. We want the parents to be comfortable also.&uot;

Newton said that the redecorating project didn’t cover up a prior project undertaken by GHS art students a few years ago.

&uot;They came in and painted butterflies on the walls in some of the rooms,&uot; she said. &uot;W decided they needed to stay. The art student s did such great job and the butterflies are so nice that we wanted to leave them.&uot;

Ward occupant Elizabeth Adornato is 13 months old and loves the Looney Toons room, her mother Melissa Adornato said.

&uot;It’s really a great idea,&uot; she said. &uot;When Elizabeth saw the room, she lit up. It makes a traumatic trip to the hospital so much easier when they have these wonderfully decorated rooms to stay in.&uot;

&uot;We love our little ones,&uot; Newton said. &uot;Anything we can do to make them as happy as possible while they are here, we want to do.&uot;

Other staff nurses in the pediatric ward also contributed to the endeavor, including

Regina Whatley, RN; Sharon Fuller, RN; Betty Smith, LPN; Peggy Jones, LPN; Amy McInvale, RN; Mila Flowers, Alecia Cabrera and Pam Campbell, Samantha Hoffman, RN; Anna Blackmon, RN; Debbie Wilson, LPN; and Lynn Bloodworth, LPN.