Hillel Yaffe Medical Center has launched a new, unique service: recovery assistants who support the patient throughout hospitalization and provide emotional and administrative assistance, with the cooperation of the medical staff. The new service began as a pilot project in Orthopedics B and is now being run on a volunteer basis by former healthcare and education professionals. The idea was proposed by Ms. Nava Clements who identified a need to reduce the level of uncertainty and anxiety felt by inpatients and felt this could be achieved by receiving answers to their questions in a more patient-oriented manner.
Clements, a retired clinical social worker, shared her idea with Ms. Varda Shalev of Friends of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center. Shalev made sure that the proposal was presented to the hospital administration, which stepped up to make the idea become a reality.
“The role of a recovery assistant is to approach patients who are admitted to the hospital and conduct an in-depth assessment of patient needs that were not identified by the healthcare practitioners,” said Rayed Abu Hussain, Head Nurse in the Orthopedics B Department. “It’s a bit like a relative who accompanies the patient and also knows what questions to ask. They can relate to administrative issues like prayer times at the hospital synagogue or if vegetarian meals available, or more clinical issues like ‘who can explain when rehabilitation begins’ or even small talk to ease tension.”
Recovery assistant Nava Clements in conversation with a patient and relative
Recovery assistants work alongside the hospital staff and draw the staff’s attention to patients who need professional attention. The hospital staff refers the assistants to hospitalized patients who require assistance, like patients without families who have no visitors.
There are currently three volunteers in Orthopedics B, who are managed by Ms. Clements. They all have been educated in healthcare and education professions and received additional training at Hillel Yaffe. The designated training includes learning about the various hospital systems, simulations and more.
The Orthopedics B Department is very happy with the new, unique service, which in turn, also improves the satisfaction of the inpatients.
The hospital administration has been tracking this welcome initiative very closely and hopes to expand it into additional departments in the coming year. Friends of Hillel Yaffe are contributing towards expanding this project and recruiting additional volunteers for this service.