Support During Recovery with Swing Bed Program

Video Transcript

I'm Candy Jones and I came to Brookings to be close to my grandchildren. And before that, I worked for a company that laid up wood veneer products as general manager.

What brought you to Brookings Health System?

I had surgery and I wasn't quite ready to be on my own, I live alone, so I came to Brookings Health System for their swing bed program. And that allowed me to stay for a few days, learn how to take care of the things that I needed help with and to just get a little stronger.

What is the swing bed program?

It is transition care from the hospital to your next phase of care. So when the doctor tells you you're ready to go home, but maybe you aren't feeling ready to go home, swing bed is an alternative to that for you to learn to do the things that you would make you feel comfortable going home. It just gives you a chance to have a different level instead of having the intense medical care you're getting help with the things that you specifically need.

What services were provided in swing bed?

I got everything I needed, occupational therapy, physical therapy. They administered my medications. I was on a long-term medication that was new to me, so that was helpful to have somebody to discuss it with as I was experiencing the side-effects. And the people just couldn't have been nicer.

What were your impressions of Brookings Hospital?

The care was fabulous and the facility is gorgeous. The room was large, there was room to move around, there was room for my family, there was a place for my daughter to stay all night if she needed to. The whole width of the room or the length of the room is a window, and to me, that makes it more cheerful, less confining feeling. It's very inviting and I can't say that that's traditionally true of hospitals, and it's a nice place for your family to visit while you're there or friends. It's very tasteful, it's very well designed right down to all the extra outlets for your electronics. Usually, there are outlets, but they're clear over on the other wall or they're all designed for medical equipment. These are clearly for patient. It was designed with the patients in mind.

How was the staff supportive of your family?

They included my family in all of the feedback. They treated them like guests. You know, can I get you a cup of coffee? Would you like a snack? They were very aware of taking care of the family emotionally as well as my medical issues. And I appreciated that because that made it easier for me.

How did the staff support you?

There's no defining lines about what their job is other than whatever they can do for you to accomplish your goals, and for me, that was to get stronger. So, if I needed to go for a walk, they took me for a walk because I wasn't allowed to go by myself. If I needed to get up for some reason, they came and made sure that I was okay in that transition. If I couldn't sleep, they came, you know, just anything I needed they were there and happy, not just willing to do, but happy to do. I've never met such a positive group of people.

How did the housekeeping staff make your stay comfortable?

They were very well trained, they cleaned every nook and cranny as if it were their own. I mean, they truly cared.

How was your transition home?

They set me up with so many aids, things that I wouldn't have known to do if I had just gone home on my own. I had all kinds of people I could contact. They arranged for in-home care for the things that I needed. They helped me figure out transportation because I had daily visits to the hospital. Things that I would have been able to handle easily on my own healthy, but when you don't feel well, it's just so overwhelming.

What advice would you give someone considering swing bed?

I would say look into it first, contact Brookings Health System if you can. Find out what it's all about to see if it's right for you. It was perfect for me. I wasn't looking for a long-term care facility, I just wanted...I wanted to go home, but I didn't think I was ready and they trained me to do the things that were concerning to me.

What did you appreciate most about Brookings Health System?

First of all, Brookings Health System is a very well-run business from the patient's standpoint. Everyone knew what they were supposed to do. They were scheduled, they were where they were supposed to be on time. If they said they were coming at 10 they came at 10. I had pushed the buzzer on my bed for help and the nurses were all tied up and somebody that was answering the phones came to see if they could help me. And in fact, they could. All I just needed something little, but it...they're all willing to do whatever they can even if it's not quite their job description.