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New Hospital Blog : 1-11-11

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Seeing the New Children’s Hospital through the Eyes of the Staff
by Trillium Hibbeln on 11/08/2010 at 4:48 PM

We recently began tours for staff and physicians who will be working in the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. What fun for me to see the facility through their eyes!

Because our staff  know the children who will be patients, the child-like enthusiasm of their reactions are  wonderful to see and hear about from my friends and colleagues who are guiding the tours.

It starts right in the lobby of course.

Some nurses who toured the building one night were captivated by the huge mosaic mural.

"Wow!"

"That's Ginormous."

"Beautiful."

Cell phone cameras came out and the nurses started snapping pictures, first of the mural, then of each other in front of the mural.

Then, their attention turned downward to the colorful patterns on the floor, and they noticed that the circles changed color when you step on them.

An impromptu "Zumba" dance broke out and their smiles and laughter and delight was infectious.

The nurses inspected the private patient rooms with a practiced eye, admiring the layout, the décor, and played with the new cribs and beds. They sat in the comfy chairs and tested the couches that convert to double beds for parents. The children's art work got rave reviews about what a great environment for healing it would foster throughout the facility.

Child life manager Jodi Bauers told me about the experience of two of her special volunteers  she took on a brief tour. Kevin Heys, who  greets  guests from his wheelchair in the hospital lobby and his mom Gwen, are champions of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in many ways. Kevin was in awe of the new building as he cruised through the lobby in his powerchair. Gwen said she is so very happy for the kids and families to have this incredible, beautiful place to receive care.  Kevin left with a huge smile on his face.  It was pretty remarkable to get to see the hospital through Kevin's eyes - if only a glimpse, Jodi said.

I have heard similar comments from my colleagues who are conducting tours. One said, "I wish I could be a full time tour guide, it gets me so pumped up to see and hear the staff. Their 'wow factor' is pretty high."

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