6/28/19

Healthcare tech’s singing soothes patients and families

Between mission trips and losing his grandpa to bone cancer, Cord Church, healthcare technician, always knew he wanted to help people. That’s why he got into healthcare. But there’s so much more he wants to do. One day Church hopes to get into medical school and take part in Doctors Without Borders

Healthcare techs fill many roles at Carle. They aid nurses by providing physical and emotional support to patients as well as help with daily-living activities and advocate for their patients’ well-being. When needed they also serve as lay sitters. Lay sitters often:

  • Sit in the hospital room with a patient needing supervision who does not have a family member available
  • Provide general non-clinical support to help the patient remain calm, and calling a nurse as needed
  • Contact staff.sched@carle.com for more information

“We are one-on-one with a patient due to varying factors like confusion, impulsiveness or for suicidal precautions. Instead of aiding many patients, we work with that one patient all day. It may be to prevent any injuries or IV lines from being pulled,” Church said.

Church’s approach to patient care is making him well known on the surgical floor. It also helped earn him a spot as one of this quarter’s Way to Be winners.

“I always try to keep a positive mindset and create a connection with my patients. From there, I try to do everything in my power to help a patient with whatever they need and to brighten their day even if it’s only for a moment,” Church said. 

And by brightening their day, he means singing to them.

“I’ve been put on the spot to sing for patients and their families and get red at first. It is humbling and gives me joy to know I can positively impact a patient’s stay by being goofy or singing to them,” Church said. “The best is when they join in with me.”

Carle's intranet featues several Way to Be awards thanking him for singing to ease a patient’s worries.

In March, Church also received a Gold Star from Cindy Essex, Human Resources instructional designer, and her family.

“Dad would begin to get irritated and confused, and Cord would talk with him like a friend, redirect his confusion and at the sweetest times, sing to my dad,” Essex said.  

Church stayed with the family through procedures and prayers. After the loss of Essex’s father, Church sang a few songs at his funeral service.

He’s been with Carle for not quite two years, but Church is making a lasting impression.

“Like any job there are good days and bad. It takes a compassionate and caring person to work in healthcare,” Church said, adding watching patients get better is his favorite part of the job.  

Patients have tried to set Church up with their daughters and granddaughters, but what’s really stuck with him are their life lessons.