Between March and July 2019, the Association for the promotion of creative-ecological education and innovative abilities implemented the first project since the beginning of the European Solidarity Corps program, with the help of two Romanian volunteers. Although the association has experience in European volunteering projects, “Words for Well-being” is a project was innovative because the intervention in the field of medical education of such type was the first in Constanta.
The idea of this project started from the concept of the patient’s well-being during his hospitalization. It is influenced by therapeutic compliance (defined as the ratio between the indications given by the doctor and those understood and accepted by the patient) and affects the recovery time: the better understanding of his condition, the less time for the recovery needed. This may also be desirable both from the perspective of the patient, but also of the medical staff and the hospital management.
Volunteers helped fill a missing link in communication between patients and medical staff. “The innovation that we do through this project is that no attempt has ever been made to introduce such services for the patient , filling a gap in communication with the medical staff. The idea was inspired by a personal experience, in which a patient who has suffered a surgical intervention, was more compliant with medical recommendations after understanding what was happening to him. No matter how benevolent the medical staff is, it is difficult for them to get out of the medical paradigm in order to transmit information in such a way that the patient understands the medical terms”, says Irina Molnus, the project coordinator.
Among the results of the project we note that the well-being of the counseled patients, versus those who did not benefit of this service, improved by 60% after 10 days from surgical interventions. High correlations between recovery time and several variables were confirmed, such as: relationship with medical staff, quality of services received, which included the existence of counseling and emotional support, but also a lower correlation with age and previous experiences of hospitalization.
At the Pediatrics Department, where we worked with the children, the activities paved the way for future collaborations. The well-being reduces anxiety during hospitalization. In the case of little patients, the activities were well received and brought a lot of joy.
An illustrative testimonial from the activities: “A little girl with a beautiful smile, burned, abandoned by a mother with mental disorders… Our“ magic ”made her smile. Really laugh. It really is easy to help! ”, Says a volunteer.The project has paved the way for future interventions and we want such services to be standardized and recognized as a new profession, to improve the relationship in the health field, with real benefits for both the patient and the health system.