A Medal for Mobility

At 82, Doris didn’t consider herself a contender for an Olympic medal. She just wanted to maintain her independence and control her COPD. But after Doris had abdominal surgery, things changed. She found herself linked to oxygen and IV tubing and confined to a hospital bed.

Meet Melissa

Her nurse, Melissa, helped Doris overcome the fear of getting out of bed and together they inched past patient rooms. Doris even earned a handmade Olympic medal for walking the halls of Meritus Medical Center.

“It’s a privilege to work with patients and help them heal,” says Melissa. “We hope we do things that our patients will remember for a lifetime.”

Melissa knows walking increases patients’ strength and endurance and prevents falls. It also decreases the likelihood of blood clots and pneumonia. That’s why she and her colleagues developed Getting Stronger, Living Longer, a mobility program for medical-surgical patients.

A return to independence

Doris’ strength and breathing improved and she became independent in a matter of days. And when it came time for discharge, she was able to go home without the need for home health nursing. That alone is worth a medal.

Today, with help from nurses like Melissa, patients leave the hospital stronger, more independent and prepared for life at home.