Comfort Is Key for Patients

March 6, 2019

No pregnant woman looks forward to her prenatal glucose tolerance test and the hours of hunger that accompany it, but a little bit of compassionate care can go a long way.

When Kristen McGuire made her way to Palisades Medical Center after another lab was unable to successfully perform her test, the warm hospitality of Viviana Londono, a secretary at Palisades, completely changed her day.

“I hadn’t eaten in 14 hours, I was worried about the safety of myself and my child, and things were just not going well,” Kristen says. But Viviana changed all that when she welcomed Kristen and her husband as soon as they walked in the door. “Viviana told us we could move the chairs however we liked, gave us the remote for the TV and even gave me a pillow so that I could lay down. She was incredibly thoughtful,” she says.

The day was complicated a bit as a nor’easter was moving into the area, flooding the parking lot where Kristen and her husband were parked.

“[My husband] rushed out to move the car to the second level of the garage to escape the flooding,” Kristen says. “When he came back inside, Viviana had a fresh pair of dry socks waiting for him. She truly is such a kind and sweet person.”

Kristen commends Viviana for going above and beyond that day. But for Viviana, that’s business as usual. “With the glucose test, I know it is very time-consuming and exhausting, so I try and provide patients with extra pillows to help them relax or headphones for listening to music,” she says. “Even though I’m not actually the one drawing their blood, I know I can help make them more comfortable during their experience.”

More About Viviana

What drew you to this career?

I served in the Marine Corps from 2007 to 2011, and when I moved back home, I realized I wanted to work in a hospital. I started off in HR, but I knew I wanted to work more closely with patients. When the job opened up for the secretary position, I jumped right on it, knowing I’d be able to interact with patients on a daily basis.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love interacting with patients. I try to make people as comfortable and happy as I possibly can.

Tell us about a team member at Hackensack Meridian Health who made all the difference in your care.