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Medical Intensive Care Nurses at BGMC Garner National Attention

Updated: 2/28/2012

The medical intensive care nurses at BGMC received national attention recently from the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). An article about the MICU's White Wreath protocol appeared in the winter issue of their Connections newsletter.

The White Wreath protocol promotes respect and compassion for dying patients, their families, and even the nurses who care for them.

When a patient is in the final hours of life, the following “White Wreath” protocol is  implemented at BGH:

  • A white wreath will be placed on the glass outside of the patient’s room as a signal to those present in the MICU to modify noise and conversation levels.
  • A vase of white silk flowers will be placed on the secretary’s desk as a signal to all staff entering the MICU to modify noise and conversation levels.
  • Pastoral Care Services will be offered to the patient and their family/significant others.
  • A specially prepared basket will be made available with the following contents (e.g. LED candle, CD player with assorted music, scented lotion for family members to apply to their loved one’s hands/feet, Bible or Koran, Kleenex, blanket that can be used on the patient and then family can take it home after the death, an angel/dove pin for the patient to wear, which would then be offered to the family/significant others that are present to take home.

Inclusion in this newsletter is not only a great tribute to our hard working, caring nurses; the protocol also serves as an example for hospitals around the country in providing the most compassionate care in a patient's final hours.

Additional information available: