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Nurses champion alternative wrap for radiation patients

Monday May 5, 2014
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Breast cancer challenges not only patients’ health but also people’s self-esteem, so when nurses involved in helping patients through radiation therapy learned about the Radiant Wrap, they worked through their organizations to offer the tops to women. The soft, silky wrap was designed by a cancer survivor to wear during treatment.

Woodland Healthcare

“We decided this was something special we could give our patients,” said Jennifer Thietz, RN, BN, OCN, an oncology nurse navigator for Woodland Healthcare, a Dignity Health member. “They are gorgeous. We just wish we had something for the men to use.”

Woodland Hospital in Woodland, Calif., has been using the gowns for nearly two years. Thietz met with fellow nurse navigators and treating physicians at the hospital, and the nurses decided to purchase 100 of the gowns from a donation-supported nurse navigator fund. The hospital has since reordered the popular wraps. Navigators also put together a binder filled with information about what to expect during treatment.

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, Calif., began offering the gowns in February. Radiant Wrap contacted the hospital, and clinical nurse navigator Ruth Niebuhr, RN, BSN, OCN, let two patients try the wrap before ordering. The first patient preferred the hospital gown, but the second one called it fabulous and luxurious. The radiation techs and physician approved, as long as all patients who wanted one could have one. She presented the wrap and its use in patient care to clinical committees and strategic planning meetings. “We got consensus that this was of value,” Niebuhr said.

Saddleback began offering the wrap after the health system’s foundation identified a donor willing to fund the initiative. Patients pay only a portion of the actual cost of a wrap. They are sold through the hospital’s Transitions for Women Boutique, which sells prostheses, wigs and hats. The hospital offers reduced pricing for women unable to afford the $15 cost of the wrap.

“It’s very satisfying for me to see the number being used,” Niebuhr said. “It’s fulfilling to see the project finished.”


A model wears one of the Radiant Wrap designs available.
(Photo courtesy of Alice By Design Photography)
Tips for obtaining facility approvals

The RNs instrumental in getting Radiant Wrap alternative wraps approved for use at their hospitals offer these top 10 tips for obtaining facility approvals:

• Determine the need and clarify how it will benefit patient care
• Request a sample, so everyone can touch the product or try it on if appropriate
• Develop a plan to move the idea forward, researching what approvals will be needed and what hurdles must be overcome
• Think through and outline how the hospital will use the product, how will it be stored and distributed and, if the hospital is charging for it, how to collect the money
• Secure support from fellow nurses or navigators
• Educate and obtain buy-in from the medical staff and other clinical committees
• Draft a proposal to take to administration and obtain support
• Demonstrate the value in offering the new product, keeping in mind patient-centered care and patient satisfaction
• Find a way to pay for the new product, such as securing support from the hospital’s foundation
• Adjust and revise the proposal to overcome objections.

For more information about Radiant Wrap, visit http://www.theradiantwrap.com/.


By Debra Anscombe Wood, RN, is a freelance writer. Post a comment below or email editorWest@nurse.com.