Bedside program aimed at helping patients to quit smoking
Legacy Emanuel patient Sharen Johnson hasn’t smoked a cigarette in two weeks and she’s OK. She knows the true test will be when she’s discharged. “I’ve smoked for 48 years and I’m 62,” says Johnson. “Do the math, I was 14."
Johnson’s skin glows like that of a much younger woman. She laughs saying she follows a strict skin care regimen. However, she knows smoking has caused other medical problems, including a constant cough and raspy voice. She told Legacy Health’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist Donna Holden, P.A., that she wants to quit.
Holden runs the Nicotine Withdrawal Prevention Protocol (NicWiPP) program. Legacy Emanuel is the only Legacy hospital, for now, that offers NicWipp a program based on research from the Mayo Clinic created to help manage nicotine withdrawal in patients. Charles Bentz, M.D., F.A.C.P., medical director of the Legacy Health Tobacco Cessation & Prevention program says, “We are in the best position to recognize and treat nicotine withdrawal, which reduces the number of patients leaving the ward to smoke, and generates interest in quitting."
Holden plans to train nurses too. “Every day, I get a list of patients who smoke and make the rounds,” says Holden. “I want them to make healthier choices going forward to have a better quality of life, no matter what age they are.”
NicWipp is for Legacy Health employees, too. Employee Health offers initial lozenges for free and for a reduced price at hospital pharmacies and gift shops.
Photo: Legacy Emanuel's Tobacco Treatment Specialist Donna Holden, P.A., counsels patient Sharen Johnson.