Positive Distraction

The value of positive distraction during lengthy stays and stressful situations

Julie Westrick By Julie Westrick, Nursing Executive
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MARCH 19, 2020

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As a nurse, I have often asked myself, “What can I do to make my patients’ stay more comfortable?”

This has always been important to me, and every nurse I’ve worked with or met. But it’s even more important when patients are admitted for several days or weeks, and during hectic and critical situations (like COVID-19) when nurses are stretched thinner than ever.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be solely up to us as nurses to help our patients feel calm and comfortable.

The effects positive distraction can have on patients

Positive distraction and having more control over their environment offer patients an improved experience.

According to Ulrich’s theory of supportive design, stress can be reduced in the healthcare environment by providing the patient with an increased sense of control over his or her surroundings, access to social support, and access to positive distraction.

This theory was tested where it was found that the elements in a room where patients recover makes a significant difference on their level of stress. Rooms where patients had an increased control, positive distraction and access to social support decreased their level of stress.

Positive distraction can also be instrumental in reducing pain. If we can help patients focus their attention on something else, we can draw their attention away from their pain, making it more manageable to tolerate.

And when positive distraction offers the same comforts of home for a patient, that sense of familiarity can help calm and empower them when they need it most.

How positive distraction through SONIFI Health can help patients

SONIFI Health’s technology solutions can be instrumental in providing patients with increased control and opportunities for positive distraction.

The interactive TV can offer the options of temperature control, window blinds control, and meal ordering.

On-demand educational videos and an interactive discharge checklist allows the patient to be more involved with their own care and a part of the care plan process.

Positive distraction can be provided through television programs, movies, music, games, and relaxation and spiritual content, all accessible on the in-room TV.

Patients can also use mobile devices to stream their favorite content from 2,000+ apps to the in-room TV with our STAYCAST solution, powered by Google Chromecast.

Learn more about how SONIFI Health can help enhance patient experience and improve clinical outcomes.

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 26, 2019. It has been updated for comprehensiveness and additional scenarios.

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