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Gifts/cards from patients

  • 1.  Gifts/cards from patients

    Posted 4 days ago
    I am seeking help with how other clinics deal with the cards, gifts and artwork patients and their families donate during and after their treatment.   I have been working at an infusion clinic in a small community.  Our patients are absolutely wonderful and generous. Since it is a small town, we see them in the community, grocery store, church...etc
     When a loss occurs we often receive a thank you card with heartfelt messages and personalized thanks for our care.  In addition we often receive handmade quilt wall hangings, paintings, wood carvings, bird houses ,original photography,ceramic sculptures, figurines and the list goes on.   In the two years since I have been in this clinic our break room is overflowing with these items.  My concern is there is no end in sight, and the "break" room has become a shrine of sorts, not a peaceful place to get away from the stresses of the job. Cancer and reminders of loss are everywhere.

    I am writing to ask what other clinics do with these items. Do you have a system?  Any ideas would be helpful.
    My thought was to keep them for one year and at our remembrance ceremony twice a year present them to the staff, read the messages on the cards one more time then throw them away. The messages could be transcribed to a database to read again?   As for the artwork... would a silent auction be appropriate?  Any money gained could be donated to a local charity?
     Again, thanks for any suggestions you may have.  I thought reaching out to gather other clinics' ideas would be best before presenting my ideas to my staff.

    Thank you
    Maureen Bell, RN, BSN OCN

    Maureen Bell
    Cutten CA

  • 2.  RE: Gifts/cards from patients

    Posted 3 days ago
    Is perhaps an item more meaningful to one staff member and it could be given to that staff member or if multiple staff members express interest in having an item names could be put in a hat for a drawing for the item?
    We also have items gifted to us and the above works for us.  If no one expresses interest the item is left in the breakroom and is "up for grabs".  The cards can be placed in a memory album if they are something you wish to keep.
    Cheryl Bolling

    Cheryl Bolling BSN, RN, OCN

  • 3.  RE: Gifts/cards from patients

    Posted 3 days ago
    Thanks for the idea for the drawing.  I know there are some nurses who really treasure the gifts and would be receptive to this.  We have done the memory album with the cards but they sure pile up.... We have a patient remembrance ceremony every 6 months and read off the names of losses with staff only in our chapel.  I was thinking maybe bringing the last 6 months of cards to this to read one more time.

    Maureen Bell
    Cutten CA

  • 4.  RE: Gifts/cards from patients

    Posted 3 days ago

    How wonderful your patients what to express their thank- you's with something they gave great thought in purchasing or creating! Why don't you display everything by hanging on the walls throughout the center and objects that cannot be hung on shelves?  It will brighten up those going through treatment or just having a bad day.  Just think how happy you would make someone if they saw their gift displayed for all to see?!    ​

    Kimberly Cromwell-Piniella
    Oncology Breast Navigator
    Somerville, NJ

  • 5.  RE: Gifts/cards from patients

    Posted 3 days ago

    I loop in the foundation, and they can determine best how to share the gifts with the hospital staff and your community.

    Eva Edwards RN MSN  OCN
    CHM Cancer Center
    Astoria Oregon