They took part of my colon, I gave them a piece of my mind.

Actual email, only names have changed.

I was a patient on Rockman 5 from September 13 until this past Friday, September 21, 2018 following colorectal surgery. I would like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts about the care I received as well as your staff in general and in specific. In an effort to have some credibility, I will tell you that I have been on an unusually high number of hospital floors and wards partially because of my two severely disabled 25 year-old children (four hospitals just with them), my own and close family member’s hospitalizations, and some of my past professional trainings.

As a firm believer that it is fairly easy to be an okay nurse I am never surprised that many floors and units are mainly composed of okay nurses. They usually (hopefully) have a couple of good nurses and few (if any) great nurses. Part of that is unfortunately due to the Peter Principle.

I found very few okay nurses on Rockman 5. Not only do you have a very high percentage of good, and even great nurses the staff from “top” to “bottom” are also of high caliber. The PCTs on the floor are equally dedicated, involved, professional, and more. To start with my first (and potentially only) complaint, the staff photograph-board was removed the day before I left. I had planned on taking a picture of it so I could attach names to this email. I will do my best, but my mind was not totally clear last week.

All the nurses showed professionalism and when an issue ever came up that they were not 100% confident about, they would return with someone better acquainted with the situation. When my IV was removed and Kathy was dealing with what I now believe to be phlebitis from one of the IV meds, the next thing I knew she had members of the IV team in there. Is that what should have happened? Yes, of course. Is that what would have happened elsewhere? Not always. Kathy was my nurse for multiple shifts and is absolutely one of your vital gems, if not yet a great nurse, soon to be. She helped with any and all issues, professionally and competently. A wonderful demeanor, empathy, and personality, obvious knowledge and the appropriate level of confidence.

Emma is another nurse I need to mention. She is simply incredible in many of the same areas as Kathy and her education is very impressive. She is kind, considerate, intelligent, professional, empathetic, and hopefully she will not be swallowed up by the Peter Principal and will continue to offer such a high level of care directly to patients.

I was given a head’s up about Annie. I was told I would like her and that she was one of the most experienced on the floor (in terms of tenure). During her shift I had a problem and related it to Annie. A doctor became involved and, in my opinion, acted not only non-professionally but immorally. I do not want to get into that in this email (I may file a complaint) but it turns out that Annie pursued and found a solution to the issue. Words cannot explain what that did for me, mentally and physically, while in the midst of dealing with an NG tube, post-op stress and discomfort, etc. Another great nurse, for so many reasons.

I was a bit taken aback at the start of one shift when it appeared the hospital had sent a “financial guy” to my room. No, it was Willie ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am sorry that he was only on one shift during my hospitalization, I would have enjoyed getting to know him a bit. Definitely making a special request for him to be one of my nurses next time, but then again, hopefully there is no next time.

Alexander was another nurse who deserves kudo’s. Between his knowledge of his profession, empathy, caring, and ability to anticipate what I may need, there is nothing to say other than he, too, is a vital member of your team. Vital to patients at the very least.

If you are wondering what it takes to be a great PCT, just shadow Pamela for a day. What makes the difference between an okay PCT and a great PCT? I can start by saying empathy and caring. Innately understanding people and spoken and unspoken cues. Add simply doing your job well, efficiently, and anticipating what may be needed next. She is as essential to your team as any other member and my time on Rockman 5 would have been more difficult without her. It would be wonderful if she moved on to become a nurse, but actually, it would also be less than wonderful to lose such a PCT.

The entire staff appears to work together as a cohesive team. I have no doubt there is a lot that I did not see, and shouldn’t, but what I did see is not often seen in a team this size. The staff enjoy their respective jobs, they have respect for each other, and actually are a team. This works to their benefit, the hospital’s benefit and to the most important benefit in my opinion, mine.

That said, there are two PCTs who could probably benefit from a very different type of work, one doctor I very well may file against, and a nurse or two who would benefit from some retraining, but isn’t that always the case?

Whatever you are doing, it is working. And others are not mentioned because you took down the photo board and I can not be sure of names and actions.

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4 thoughts on “They took part of my colon, I gave them a piece of my mind.

  1. Glad you made it through relatively well! My thoughts are with you for a quick and smooth recovery going forward. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m a reader from your blog about your daughter. ๐Ÿ™‚

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