FAMILY FOCUS: Tea time at Saint Francis Hospital

WATCH: FAMILY FOCUS: Tea time at Saint Francis Hospital

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every afternoon Anna Bautista can be found walking up and down the halls of Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis with her cart of tea and cookies.

Bautista is the Patient Experience Coordinator for the Hospital.

"So, this is one of our tools that we kind of call our secret sauce," Bautista said.

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"This is something we can share with the patients when they come here. A lot of times they are anxious about the visit."

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Around two o'clock, Bautista visits every room on every floor in the hospital where she offers patients an assortment of tea and fresh-baked cookies.

It's a tradition she helped to create a few years ago.

"At first they think I'm in the wrong room," Bautista explained.

"Generally, they'll say are you coming to my room. I'm a patient and I say of course."

"The tea is a way to be able to communicate with them and being able to have a cart and share time with them is the beginning to learn the patient where they are as they are."

Bautista paid Cheryl Williams a visit.

Williams is recovering from knee replacement surgery.

"I was pleasantly surprised," Williams said. "My mother didn't drink coffee so tea was ritual in our house when she wanted to talk or have some mother-daughter time. Pour up a cup of tea, and we would chat so that brought back memories."

Williams said a small gesture like tea and cookies goes a long way.

"It does," Williams said.

"Those little touches, unexpected nice things just make you feel comfortable and wanted. It goes beyond just professionalism. It goes with caring and love and that's what you want to feel like when you have major surgery and you are going through things."

Bautista said the ability to provide a sense of peace and comfort brings her joy, especially during the holiday season.

"A lot of time we assume people have family, or they have neighbors to visit," Bautista said.

"So, the tea time allows me to hear more than just walking in there and seeing how they're doing or being clinical. It allows me time to hear what they have to say."

To find out more about volunteer opportunities at Saint Francis Hospital, call 901-765-1807.