If you are reading this perhaps you or your loved one have experienced trauma. Certainly you did not expect to need an extended hospitalization. You may wonder what exactly happened to you. You may have trouble sleeping or find yourself feeling confused. It may be that during your hospitalization you required restraints for safety. All of these may leave you feeling overwhelmed and it may be hard to express how you feel. This is completely normal. Many hospitalized patients feel loss related to their change in status and the need for assistance. Some patients even report having flashbacks to their hospitalization when they are home.

We at Acuity realize how difficult it is to be a patient or a caregiver. We want to help you cope with your loss and we want to reduce any impact of trauma you may experience. To this end, we work with you and your family as an interdisciplinary team to reduce trauma whenever possible.

There are some things you can do for yourself or for your loved one.

  • Bring in pictures of family/friends
  • Let us know your normal sleeping schedule
  • Ask for a noise machine if you are having trouble sleeping
  • Consider bringing in a personal blanket or pillow (please remember that if you are on isolation that you may need to dispose of anything you bring into your hospital room)
  • Bring in a CD player or radio so you can listen to music you like.
  • Keep a journal of events, thoughts, and feelings
  • Participate in your rehab program and get out of bed with staff assistance when it is medically appropriate
  • Keep your room blinds open during the day

For additional information you can visit The Trauma Survivor’s Network www.traumasurvivorsnetwork.org or ask to speak with a social worker.

By: Becky Johnson, MSW, LCSW, Director of Case Management, Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey