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Hospital News and Views


WDTimes 04 14 67, Hospital News and Views column


In the Broadway play, "Fiddler on the Roof," Zero Mostel sang of "Tradition."  The song "Why Tradition?", and answers, "Because Tradition!"


Maybe "Because Tradition" is the answer and reason why hospitals do so many things the way they do.  We do things a certain way because we've always done things that way.


We're pleased to be able to say that the above isn't necessarily true in our hospital's pediatric department.  Not only have many physical changes been made in this area, but  . . .  we'll let Mrs. Heinz (Doris) Bruenger, R.N., pediatric supervisor tell about it:


"In your hospital's pediatric department we are trying to make it a 'home away from home' for your children in every way possible.  In the past few months we have initiated many changes.


"Colorful sleepers of all sizes have replaced the conventional, skimpy gown.  Except for children going to surgery, all little ones are 'snugged' into cuddly sleepers.  Because of the sleepers and our new thermo blankets, parents can go home secure in the thought that their children will not be cold during the night, — children do have the habit of kicking off their covers, you know!  Also we are using a soft type plastic panty that is aerated and so far we have not had one case of diaper rash and many changes of linens have been eliminated.


"When the children are able to be up, we have a play-pen, a wagon, infant seats, table and chairs, and many other toys generously donated by various groups in Watertown, and for these things we are grateful.  We do have two television sets that have more than paid for themselves in giving pleasure to both bed-ridden and ambulatory children.  Our TV's are black and white — but wouldn't a new color TV be a wonderful "baby sitter" for the tykes!


"Our very latest innovation is the use of multi-color 'cobbler' aprons — one of our children called it the 'granny look'.  We had often noticed the children were frightened by the nurses' white uniforms, so we are experimenting with gay aprons.  Already we have noticed that some of the children are more receptive to us.  Perhaps they have the feeling their mother is taking care of them rather than a nurse.  Many of our leading pediatric hospitals in the country are having their nurses wear street clothes exclusively rather than uniforms.


"Another thing we noticed was the lack of interest in their supper meals.  Perhaps it's that children are tired at the end of the day, or maybe thinking of the night coming and their mom or dad leaving them for the night.  (We do want to insert here that parents are always welcomed, and may stay all night if they so choose and their child's condition warrants.  The pediatric department, however, is never left unattended — personnel are in the department 24 hours per day.) So now! — a picnic every night and where else can you find a picnic in January?  We still maintain a balanced meal even though the meal consists of hamburgers, hot-dogs, french fries, relishes, fruit and ice-cream.


"At times we even dispense with the formality of the trays and the picnics are served as 'sack-lunches'.  We are firm believers in 'tea-parties' for both boys and girls.  Many tears are quickly and quietly wiped away as spontaneous tea-parties are announced, and soon they are gathered around their table chatting and eating their cookies and drinking their pop.  We must admit that all of this has been fun for the staff as for the children.


"Above all, we do feel, besides giving the care they need, we have an abundance of T.L.C.; (tender loving care), and it is not uncommon for us at the time of discharge to hear, "Do I have to go, Mommy?'  This type of comment gives us a satisfaction in knowing that the child did have a happy experience in coming to the hospital.  We do want our children of Watertown and our surrounding communities to grow up to be healthy, responsible citizens.  As our children are our most precious possessions, we are trying constantly to provide the highest quality of nursing care and the latest techniques and procedures.  After all, our future depends on these little ones."



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History of Watertown, Wisconsin