When a terminally ill patient at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster, Md., decided last year that she wanted to marry her fiancé before being transferred to Carroll Hospices Dove House for care, nurses and staff members from the hospital and the hospice flew into action.
Within a matter of hours, The Wedding Planners provided everything needed for a touching and memorable ceremony, including a bouquet and dress for the bride, a boutenniere for the groom, flowers, a cake, music, and a photographer.
Rev. Judy Strayer, who serves as chaplain and manager of the hospitals Spiritual Care Department, performed the wedding service.The “Wedding Planners” were named Team of the Month for February 2009 by Carroll Hospital Center.
The wedding ceremony for Gloria and Stanley Hanson Sr. earned the 17 staff members the Team of the Month Award last February and left everyone involved with cherished memories. The service was so very touching, says Laura Welty, RN, CHP, hospice nurse liason at Carroll Hospital Center, who was present when the patient made the decision to transition to hospice care. The hospital equipment faded into the background as the focus was on this dear patient and her beau.
I was deeply honored and touched to be allowed to share these precious moments with our patient. That evening, as I reflected on the wedding, I knew that we all had accomplished something momentous for the patient and her family.
Welty was instrumental in transferring Gloria Hanson to the Dove House, where the staff converted the patients room into a honeymoon suite, complete with candles and flowers. Welty says when the bride-to-be made her decision to be married, all of the team members contributed to the planning.
In the Dove House, she [and her husband were] able to enjoy her room that was decorated for their honeymoon by the hospice staff, all while having her symptoms managed for optimal quality of life, Welty says.
The Team of the Month Award is presented each month to recognize the extraordinary achievements of a group of staff members from one or more departments at Carroll Hospital Center and its subsidiaries.
It is difficult to express in words the efforts of everyone involved, said Colleen Miles, patient representative at Carroll Hospital Center, in a new release. No job was too big or too small everyone wanted to make this day special for the couple and their family.
Tom Clegg is a copy editor at Nursing Spectrum.