Hot Cup of Soup Makes a Big Difference

Emergency Department nurse Melanie Banfield with the D-Side Kitchen’s new microwave. Patients and family members can use it to heat up coffee, soup, and other items to make their wait more comfortable.
Emergency Department nurse Melanie Banfield with the D-Side Kitchen’s new microwave. Patients and family members can use it to heat up coffee, soup, and other items to make their wait more comfortable.

Emergency Department nurse Melanie Banfield with the D-Side Kitchen’s new microwave. Patients and family members can use it to heat up coffee, soup, and other items to make their wait more comfortable.
Emergency Department nurse Melanie Banfield with the D-Side Kitchen’s new microwave. Patients and family members can use it to heat up coffee, soup, and other items to make their wait more comfortable.

Emergency Department Staff Make Extra Effort

THUNDER BAY – Health – Often patients who go to the Emergency Department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre have to be admitted. However, they may have to wait several hours if a bed is not immediately available in their ward. Emergency Department staff makes every effort to make the environment as welcoming as possible for these patients and their families.

“We want to make sure that patients are comfortable while they wait,” said Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services.

That goes beyond medical care to include the little things that make a big difference to patients. For example, the “D-Side Kitchen” is a little area that lets patients and family members prepare their own food and beverages. The kitchen includes a microwave, a toaster, sink, and fridge – very much like the patient kitchens found in some inpatient wards. The microwave in particular is well-used. It allows people to warm up cold coffee, and heat sandwiches, soups, and other food items from home or elsewhere. 

“Sometimes all you want after a long day is a piece of toast and a hot cup of soup,” Vinet said.

Last year the toaster started acting up and the microwave broke down completely. Vinet said it was then that they realized how important these items were to patient care, even if they weren’t considered medical equipment.

So, the department applied for a Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation / Volunteer Association Family CARE Grant to replace the appliances. These grants are kind of like a suggestion box for employees at the Health Sciences Centre, with the kicker that it provides funding for staff to put their ideas to work. The only stipulation for the grant is that it has to benefit patient care at the Health Sciences Centre in some way – even if it’s as simple as a hot cup of soup.

“Nobody likes to be sick and in the Emergency Department. It might seem like a small thing, but the convenience of the D-Side Kitchen helps put patients more at ease,” Vinet said.

You can help make other projects like this happen with your donation to the Health Sciences Foundation. To find out more about the Family CARE Grant, please visit us at www.HealthSciencesFoundation.ca/FamilyCARE or call us directly at (807) 345-4673.

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