WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Being away from your loved ones can be hard, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s why chaplains at one local hospital are helping patients stay connected, thanks to technology.
Due to COVID-19, restrictions of visitors have been set in place at UPMC to help slow down the spread of the virus. For some patients, it’s been a sad reality not being able to see family or loved ones.
Sister Gabrielle Nguyen, a chaplain at UPMC Williamsport tells us, “during a time where they’re sick it’s important for patients to have some type of support during this healing process.”
The hospital received a generous donation of six iPads where a team of six chaplains use them to assist patients in making video calls to their family, friends and spiritual leaders.
“Just by seeing their faces allows the patients to light up and happiness and also feel well. There have been experiences where by they have been comforted by their pets from home so that has been a tremendous source of healing for our patients,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen tells us for the past couple of weeks they have been using the technology to help families pray together for the patient’s needs, intentions and healing. She says it’s a way of extending God’s healing love through virtual means.
Nguyen added, “the fact that I can see my patients feel comforted by seeing their families, by feeling uplifted when they speak to their pastor that gives me realization that this is working well for our patients during this time of isolation.”
Sister Nguyen also tells us it’s not only her department that has been utilizing the new iPads but it’s a system wide effort and the doctors and nurses are using them too.
UPMC plans on continuing using the iPads post pandemic as well.