Sparrow caregiver creates book for autistic patient

“It just puts caring for patients into a whole new perspective”
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:06 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A new tool is being used at Sparrow Hospital to communicate with non-verbal patients.

Caregiver Tara Bell noticed one of her patients was having difficulty communicating with staff and knew something had to be done. Bell went home and created a book full of visuals so her patient could express her feelings and needs.

“She was really surprised that I brought those visuals and that she could start communicating how she felt,” said Bell.

Sparrow department manager Amy Brunger said that Bell always goes above and beyond at work.

“It just puts caring for patients into a whole new perspective. Tara saw this need and she said hey this patient needs our attention and we need to learn how to communicate with her,” said Brunger.

Bell’s patient used visuals in the book to communicate everything from what she wanted to eat, to taking a shower.

“It’s amazing when they realize there’s someone actually there for them, that wants to know what they want and how they feel and makes them feel valued and loved just like the rest of us,” said Bell.

Bell used to work in education and wanted to share her expertise with coworkers to help patients receive the best care.

“It makes me all warm and fuzzy to be able to help someone help themselves,” said Bell.

Bell received the Sparrow Starfish award for making a difference and being an advocate for vulnerable patients.

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