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Davis Memorial Hospital Partakes in National Healthcare Decisions Day

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ELKINS -

Davis Memorial Hospital encouraged people to fill out advance directives on Tuesday.

It was all part of National Health Care Decisions Day.

National Healthcare Decisions Day gives doctors direction on how to care for a patient if that patient can't make the decision alone.

"National Healthcare Decisions Day is the day we set aside in West Virginia, but nationwide to encourage our citizens and in this case our employees to come forward, and to ensure their health care wishes are going to be abided by,"said Pam Smithson, clinical programs nurse director.

The hospital had three locations set up to encourage people to fill out advance directives. Advance directives could include living wills, medical powers of attorney, do-not-resuscitate cards and physician orders for scope of treatment (POST). These documents provide health care professionals with directions on how patients want to be cared for.

"Sitting down with them, going over the paperwork offering to do their advance paperwork with them. So we're able to do that, and if they want to be pulled aside we have offices setup that they can have privacy to do that in," Smithson said.

Employees and seniors said its important to have those decisions in place if your not able to make those decisions yourself.

"If and when I come in, and I'm not able to speak or share what I want done in care. I have it in writing now," said Stephanie Varah, a social worker.

"It's very important what your wishes are, and I said I wouldn't like to lie as a vegetable, and I'm old enough now that it isn't too far off so I want to go with my boots on, so to speak," said Margaret Meadows of Elkins.

Health care professionals said it's the right thing to do and most services are offered free at hospitals or senior centers.

If you didn't make it out to National Healthcare Decisions Day, you can find out more with the link posted above, Davis Memorial Hospital or call the hospital at 304-637-3773.