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Really?? A Farmer's Market in the hospital?

Nurses   (4,280 Views 34 Comments)
by roser13 roser13, ASN, RN (Member)

roser13 has 17 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

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A local hospital has been advertising that it is now holding weekly Farmers' Markets in the halls of the hospital. Apparently local farmers are bringing produce from their farms or gardens and the hospital sets up tables on the first floor of the hospital. The hospital is one of a chain of 3 in the city and all 3 are participaing in the market.

Does anyone else find this strange? What about the patients who are on immune precautions? What about the potential for insect infestation? And that's just the beginning....

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HeartRN2008 specializes in Cardiac Stepdown.

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I've seen this as well! I can see what you're saying about the potential for infection, however, I would assume that the hospital provides fresh fruit and vegetables as food choices anyhow. So, I figure, if the Farmer's Market is held in a location in the hospital that makes sense, it's not a terrible idea. It's providing a clearly at risk population (sick, elderly, those visiting the sick- run down!! and maybe children expecting mothers) with fresh fruits and vegetables, for a meal in the hospital and also to take home. Let's hope whoever is running the Market ensures that the produce is washed well before it is made available for purchase!! :) Interesting to see how it pans out, however, I do remember reading an article that the Farmer's Market in the hospital thing is actually catching on nationwide- strange but true. Leads me to think there might be some research behind it.

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RNBearColumbus has 13 years experience as a ADN.

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A local hospital has been advertising that it is now holding weekly Farmers' Markets in the halls of the hospital. Apparently local farmers are bringing produce from their farms or gardens and the hospital sets up tables on the first floor of the hospital. The hospital is one of a chain of 3 in the city and all 3 are participaing in the market.

Does anyone else find this strange? What about the patients who are on immune precautions? What about the potential for insect infestation? And that's just the beginning....

Oh noes! evil germ and bug infested vegetables are loose in our hospitals!

I'm sure the hospital administration is smart enough to know where vegetables can be sold. It's not like they are selling zucchini in ICU. And you know, farmers DO wash produce before taking it to market.

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grandmawrinkle specializes in adult ICU.

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We have one once a week all summer, but it's not indoors. It's set up under tents outside in the parking lot. Employees do buy things and bring them back into the building until they are ready to leave for the day.

I'm not sure even if it was inside the hospital it would be that big a deal though. People with all manner of communicable/infectious stuff come through the door of our ER for treatment and I've never heard of an outbreak just because someone was in the building. I think to worry about hospital patients getting sick you'd have to infect the ventilation system or something, and I don't think a farmer's market has the capacity to do that.

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GHGoonette specializes in PACU, OR.

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Of course, there might be a problem if the vegetable bugs breed with the cockroaches that are indigenous to hospitals to produce a new kind of super-bug....:eek:

Other than that, I wish we had something like that-go to work and do your grocery shopping, what a time-saver!

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roser13 has 17 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

50,652 Visitors; 6,504 Posts

Well, judging from the responses, I guess it is just me. :p

When I first heard about it, my immediate reaction was to wonder what visitors of an immunocompromised patient would think when they walked into the lobby and see fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers for sale when they have been specifically told that their loved one cannot be exposed to any of those things.

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mamamerlee has 35 years experience and specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

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There's a difference between the short time of a sale, and the fresh fruit or flowers that linger for days in a hospital room.

I like the idea of a Farmers' Market in the hospital, and would certainly try to make my purchases on the way out, if possible!

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roser13 has 17 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

50,652 Visitors; 6,504 Posts

"I'm sure the hospital administration is smart enough "

Hmmmmmm :eek:

Not sure I'd take that for granted, given some administrative decisions I've seen hospitals make:lol2::lol2:

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7,101 Visitors; 135 Posts

I absolutely see where you could be off-put by this.

While I can definitely empathize with why the family and visitors of those on neutropenic precautions would find this raises the hairs on their neck, our oncology floor has special admitting procedure for these patients. When coming from home families are well aware of environmental exposure risks. We have fresh fruit in our cafe and flowers in the gift shop, visitors are informed by signs posted at these locations and information from the nurses of neutropenic pts. No one is surprised these things are available (just that they need to speak with their loved one's nurses before making such purchases), I bet the market would have information to this end as well.

If I didn't attend farmer's markets regularly, I wouldn't know that they growers clean their fruit and vegetables before market. It's wonderful to be cut a slice of the fruit you're about to buy and I wouldn't be eating fruit that looked "that" fresh. I have seen those pesky fruit flies at a stand or two (I naturally avoid them - most growers are wise enough to keep them at bay for this reason). However, since only rotten or cut fruit seem to be the culprit for attracting them, I bet they would regulate this practice.

I do think there is value to spreading the mindset of nutritive food and depending on the market, sustainable or organic options, to the general public as an aspect of health.

I just wanted to let you know that I got a bit queasy as a gut reaction when I read your OP - it's not that unreasonable that you felt the way you did. I bet holding it INSIDE actually prevents some of the issues you are concerned about. Washed, whole fruit, in a cool environment, is less likely to attract pests of any form (microbial or insect).

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Altra is a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

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Assuming that this is not taking place in a patient care area, but a lobby, conference room or walk-through space ... I'm not terribly worried about the infection risk from the produce itself.

But I do object to the concept of these "come on down to the hospital" attempts to draw in the public (you said it was advertised), on a couple of different levels.

1. Any large gatherings of people are indeed an infection control issue.

2. Personally, I want to see resources devoted to healing the sick and education/prevention -- and that's it. Strange concept, I know, in this day & age of advertising and public relations that goes to great lengths to promote health care facilities with fuzzy, feel-good images that obscure the fact that their purpose and function is related to an unpleasant part of life, and death.

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eriksoln has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

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My hospital, not long after calling a "hospital wide alert to reduce noise", rented a part of the parking garage out to film makers to shoot scenes at. Now, that struck me as odd.

Hmmmmm..........we have a problem with noise so the next step is toooooo................shoot action films right outside the windows of the patients. ALL NIGHT to boot.

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RNBearColumbus has 13 years experience as a ADN.

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"I'm sure the hospital administration is smart enough "

Hmmmmmm :eek:

Not sure I'd take that for granted, given some administrative decisions I've seen hospitals make:lol2::lol2:

I stand corrected :lol2:

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