Hospital staff get active for Olympics

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Olympic fever has broken out at the Victoria Hospital and its symptoms are having a positive effect on staff and patients alike.

Hospital staff in the Day Surgery and Ambulatory Care Unit pose beneath their Olympic rings. Dawn Borstmayer is at top centre, Sheila Long at bottom right.

Matt Gardner

Daily Herald

The Day Surgery and Ambulatory Care Unit is ringing in the 2012 London Summer Olympics with an assortment of measures designed to improve morale among staff and patients by creating a more fun and colourful setting for health care.

Workers dressed in red and white to support Team Canada have decorated the unit in a similarly patriotic style and mounted five hula hoops on the wall to form the Olympic rings.

On Friday afternoon staff hosted a tea party to evoke the British setting of this year’s Games. Unit manager Sheila Long said the festive atmosphere had noticeably raised patients’ spirits.

“Sometimes they’re kind of scared about going into the O(perating) R(oom),” she said. “It takes their mind off if everyone’s happily doing their work and the staff have had a lot of fun doing it. Patients loved it.”

Nurse Dawn Borstmayer also took the initiative in early June of starting a challenge in which each department had to symbolically “get to London” through physical activity such as walking, biking or aerobics, where 10 minutes of activity counted as 25 kilometres.

The staff have had a lot of fun doing it. Patients loved it. Sheila Long

Workers performed the challenge at home and filled out forms documenting their physical activity. The experience successfully promoted physical fitness among staff and boosted their team spirit.

“Our departments here, Day Surgery and Ambulatory Care, got to London and came back,” Borstmayer said. “We were very successful. We did it within … less than two weeks.”

Those curious to see how Team Canada is performing can also visit the unit to consult a handy chart underneath the Olympic rings.

“We have pictures of the different Canadian athletes who are in the games, and as they achieve medals we’ll be tallying the medal count here,” Long said. “So anybody in the hospital can stop by and see how the athletes are doing.”

Organizations: Team Canada

Geographic location: London

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