News  ›  Behavioral Health

New sensory rooms calm patients at Northwest Community Hospital

September 19, 2017

An iPad, weighted blanket and various sensory toys keep developmentally disabled patients calm while waiting to be examined in the Emergency Department.

Two sensory rooms have been added to Northwest Community Hospital’s (NCH) Emergency Department to improve patient experience for individuals who are developmentally disabled.

A ribbon cutting ceremony held today celebrated the donors who helped transform two examination rooms into a tranquil environment with specific equipment to calm patients while waiting to see a physician.

“We are here for this community; that’s our vision and that’s our mission,” Steve Scogna, NCH President and CEO, said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “We want people to come in to the best surroundings and to get the kind of care that they deserve. This is a wonderful opportunity for us.”

As many as one in six children (about 15 percent) aged three through seven have one or more developmental disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning or sensory (e.g. vision, hearing) impairment. The sights, sounds and pace of an Emergency Department are often overwhelming, for patients with genetic conditions (e.g. Downs Syndrome), brain trauma, behavior issues, neurological conditions (including Alzheimer’s and dementia).

The two rooms feature wall murals, iPads, comfortable chairs, weighted blankets, crash mats, exercise balls and fidget balls. In addition, an advanced practice nurse with experience working with developmentally disabled individuals will be on call to manage the patients and advise staff on their unique patient care needs.

Three donors made the rooms possible: Chris and Susan Dungan of Arlington Heights; The Rotary Club of Arlington Heights; and Marcy Burhop of Arlington Heights.

“We deeply appreciate our donors and everything they’ve done for us,” Scogna said.

Speaking to the donors, Kimberly Nagy, R.N., MSN, NEA-BC, NCH Executive Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer added, “You all made it very possible for us to take that step into that new direction to be able to better fulfill the needs of a very special patient population.”

At left, Steve Scogna, President and CEO, talks with donor Chris Dungan in one of two sensory rooms in the Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) Emergency Department.
At left, Steve Scogna, President and CEO, talks with donor Chris Dungan in one of two sensory rooms in the Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) Emergency Department.

© 2020 Northwest Community Healthcare. All rights reserved.