Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Took Names

Jeff of Wormtown Taxi has been dealing with cancer along with other health challenges. Reading his descriptions of his current hospitalization sent chills through me. He uses words like “torture”, “sadists”, “maximum annoyance” and characterizes the purpose as [for patients to be] “driven down into complete submission”.

It sounds absolutely dreadful and I sincerely hope that Jeff is back home with Kathy very, very soon.

But it did remind me that I wanted to mention another important part of my drastically different recent hospitalization: I took names.

Starting with my CT Scan weeks before my surgery, I began making note of the names of the kind, friendly, well intentioned people who worked with me. Three shifts a day, the names of my nurses and aides were written for me on the dry-erase white board in my hospital room. With Chuck as my nearly constant companion, he jotted their names down for me, along with the volunteers and anyone who contributed to my care. A few weeks after I got home I drafted a letter. I worked on it over several days. Eventually a three page missive - heck, if it were put to music it would be more accurately described as a paean - went into the mail.

I wanted to be certain that the hospital CEO, the director of nursing and others knew exactly what they had done right. From the spectacular nurses to the spotless facilities to the room service style food to the pre-op nurse who managed to get my IV started deftly and painlessly (usually an enormous challenge) - I wanted to give them details. At first blush three pages may sound excessive. But it needed to be done. Obviously the hospital already has a patient centered culture, but it can’t hurt to hear from someone who noticed and appreciated all the details - big and small - which made my hospital stay such a superb experience.


Sue said...

Feedback is always good and I'm sure the hospital and definitely the specific individuals you're bound to have named, will be very grateful to hear from you!

I'm so glad that it was a good stay for you!

Sue X

Ms Brown Mouse said...

As someone who works in the area that deals with complaints/grumbles, I can assure you compliments are a very rare beast indeed, and are a cause for celebration and bragging when received. You did a nice thing.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
Thanks! I hope so!
I was hospitalized there 16 years ago. Even then it was a positive experience and better than any other hospital I had ever been in. But this time could not have been any better!

Hi DMM -
Oh that is very good to hear!
When I told my retired doc I was going to write a letter he was very enthusiastic. I know it was a letter I would have loved to receive!

Irene said...

That's a wonderful thing you did. Too many people complain, yet very few sing praises.