An Akron General Medical Center School of Nursing graduate, Barbara J. Enos, RN, has been a registered nurse since 1979. She worked in two main areas-oncology and neonatology before retiring after 37 years of practice. For the last two years she has been a Halo nurse and wanted to use her story to let more people know about the Halo Nurse Program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General.
The Halo Nurse Program is an integral part of the holistic care offered at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Established in 2001 by Eileen Machan-Schley, this program provides a unique opportunity for retired RN’s to assist patients and their families in coping with the stress of hospitalization. Our goal is to offer care that complements traditional medical care by providing patients with the physical and psychological tools to more effectively deal with the stress and pain of serious illness.
We currently have ten active Halo nurses who bring their varied backgrounds, skills and experiences to our patients. We receive referrals for a visit from all hospital staff, including patients and their family. We offer patients the gift of our time, as we sit down at their bedside, and actively listen to what they have to say. The conversation topic is patient-led. We listen respectfully and attempt to provide validation of their life, history, past and present concerns, and their fears and hopes for the future. We give each patient a Halo booklet that contains information on stress management. We also offer CD’s on guided imagery and Halo bags which we fill with activities like books, music CD’s, stress balls, coloring pages, and stuffed animals to help them decrease their stress and pass the time. We meet the patients where they are spiritually and, with their consent, we often pray with them, submit prayer request slips for them, and give them Prayer Patches and Prayer Blankets.
To me, the most fulfilling part of being a Halo nurse is the one-on-one opportunity to make a difference in each patient’s life. I have the time to slow down, sit at the bedside and listen in an empathetic and non-judgmental manner. Sometimes the chance to be heard is really all any of us need.
Read more about the Halo Nurse Program.