If I had unlimited resources and power to change how hospitals operate there are many things that I would do differently. I would make it so that quality of care wasn’t so closely linked with income. I would make it so that patients always had access to the most up-to-date information for making decisions about their own care. And I would establish a crochet room/ program in every hospital in the nation.
Of course, this isn’t an ideal world and I doubt that I’ll ever be in a position to make those changes come about. But that last one, offering crochet in hospitals, isn’t quite so far-fetched. Some hospitals already have crochet programs and of course individual patients can always choose to bring crochet projects with them to the hospital.
Here are five big reasons I think hospitals should have crochet programs:
- Crochet is super calming. It brings down blood pressure and reduces anxiety. I’m always anxious in the hospital, whether I’m a patient or I’m waiting for someone else. Calm patients and patient advocates make the entire hospital experience better for everyone involved. As a bonus, the repetitive craft of crochet likely releases serotonin, which serves as a natural painkiller and natural anti-depressant and that helps keep patients calm and happy, too.
- Crochet is an easily portable craft. Many other crafts can be similarly calming and restful but not all crafts are as portable as crochet. You don’t need a big bag of supplies for crochet; you can use a single hook and a single skein of yarn to make something. Crochet won’t get in the way.
- Crochet is a craft that can be set down and picked up again at any time. This isn’t the case with all needlecrafting but crochet allows you to stop in the middle of a row or project without risking ruining the project. Put in a stitch marker if you need one or even just make a loose knot in your work that you can undo when you’re ready to resume crocheting. This is important because there are so many times in a hospital when you may need to put down your crochet work. The doctor may come in and need to talk to you. You may need to move to another room for x-rays or exams. You may get sick or tired and need to pause or nap.
- Crochet facilitates therapy. In some cases hospitalization also includes individual or group therapy (psychological or physical therapy). Crochet is useful in therapy of all kinds.
- Crochet can be such a positive experience. Hospitals can be depressing places. If you have to stay in a hospital for days or even weeks at a time then it’s nice to be able to do something positive while you’re there. You can sit and crochet with the people who come visit you and it gives you a chance to just be together and not focus on illness for awhile. People can learn to crochet quickly so you can enjoy the craft with others even if they didn’t know how to crochet yet. When you’re alone, you can crochet for others to maintain a feeling of connection instead of loneliness during your hospital stay.
Did you see my guest post last month on Crochetoholic’s blog: Why Every Hospital Should Have a Crafting Program?