‘Purple Heart’ in the CCU/Telemetry

Natalie Johnson, chair of the CCU/Telemetry Shared Governance Council states, “one of our major accomplishments for 2010 was the development and implementation of the Purple Heart Bundle”. The nurses on the 5th floor saw a need to evaluate how we serve our patients’ and their families during the final phase of the patient’s life.

The council brainstormed and searched the literature for practice suggestions. Ultimately, they developed the ‘Purple Heart Bundle’ which is a plan of care to support patients and their families during end of life or withdrawal of care. 


This Purple Heart Bundle includes providing a nourishment cart for families, providing music therapy,offering chaplain support, accommodating the family with a bereavement room for privacy and discussion with physicians.  It also includes placing a sign on the patient’s door to make staff and visitors aware of a difficult situation so they will be more respectful.  Once the patient has passed, the family is provided with a card signed by the staff expressing our sincere condolences along with small bag of flower seeds to plant in memory of their loved one.

To the right you can see the sign that is placed on the patient’s door to create awareness and foster a respectful and quiet environment for the patient and their family members. Also visible in in this picture is the condolences card and bag of flower seeds.

To the left is the room the CCU/Telemtry unit’s shared governance council decorated to facilitate families being able to gather and discuss pertinant care decisions with each other or physicians, or to simply take a few moments to gather their strength and rest.