[February 22, 2020] It’s been a week since I posted last here in my leadership blog. In the early morning hours of Saturday morning, last week, I drove myself to the Emergency Room for what I thought would be a quick in-and-out after a doctor looked at what was hurting in my back. After a CT scan, the ER doctor showed me the little bugger creating waves of pain was a 5mm Kidney Stone causing a urethral blockage. That began a series of events that took me off-line for a week.
The news here is not that I discovered a new height to the 10 on the medical 1 to 10 pain scale, or civilian hospitals are excellent providers of emergency care, or even that many friends and family came out to support me during those dark times. I found that this particular civilian hospital1 was efficient and effective in the highest professional sense. Excellent customer service, state-of-the-art equipment, and highly qualified medical staff made my stay eye-opening.
It takes some highly-dedicated people working as a close-knit team to pull off this level of care. I credit them all – from the intake administrators to the ER team to the medical workers on the ward floor where I stayed – for doing a great job. Working in unison, I was amazed as they took the time to explain my issues and what they were doing to solve them. I got an inside glimpse at how a hospital works and succeeds.
I stayed in a two-patient room with a U.S. Marine veteran. He had been there for about eight months, according to his reckoning but his mind was a little scrambled. James was living in a local VA home before he was transferred to the hospital to have his gallbladder removed. During the day, all he watched was a television show called Family Feud and he was hard of hearing. I will never again watch Family Feud.
As I was wheeled into the operating room, just before being put under anesthetics, the doctor was called away to perform an emergency Caesarean-section on a troubled pregnancy. Fortunately, the mother and child are doing well. It was a small sacrifice for me to wait a couple of hours to ensure a new life was born. I saw many smiles that day. My operation couldn’t get to the kidney stone due to so much swelling. I’m being rescheduled later.
It’s been more than 60 years since I was an overnight guest in a civilian hospital. As a 10-year-old boy, it was a frightening experience. Today, I was far from such fear, and I’m thankful for the medical staff that was quick to diagnose and treat my pain and work toward a solution. Oh, no comment on the hospital food; through my suffering, I had little appetite and ate almost nothing.
- The AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center – Mainland Campus, Galloway, New Jersey.