Compassion and Caring Are Gifts Remembered

Written by on December 31, 2013 in Practice tips - No comments

“He had me at Hello” and I remember it still today!  The minute I walked into the room, his sparkling blue eyes met mine and I could see and feel just how much he truly cared.   In that instant it was as if our hearts were connected. It was as if he could read my mind. It was truly a magical moment! His arms reached toward me as he pulled the chair out for me…….a wheelchair that is. I had just entered the big and scary Emergency Department of a large hospital organization. The young man recognized just how much pain I was in and that I needed prompt attention.

While assisting me with the necessary paperwork, he offered an ice pack for my pain, reaching toward the desk drawer, never leaving my side. He escorted me to a very quiet spot where we waited just long enough for a young lady to appear with a sincere greeting and smile, taking me back to the next station.

She escorted my daughter and me to a clean and quiet exam room where she dimmed the lights. She seemed immediately aware of my pain, helping me move onto the stretcher while using her calm and quiet voice, “It is fine, don’t feel rushed, just take your time.”

She began asking many necessary questions, listening carefully as my daughter answered each one.  I could tell that she was determined to fit the pieces together with a desire to discover the problem.

The nurse informed me that she would be starting an IV and that I would feel a stick.  Her patience and gentle hands, along with her great eyesight were very much appreciated.

The physician arrived, introduced himself to me and to my daughter, pulled up a chair right beside me and said, “I am so sorry that you feel so bad, tell me what is going on.”  As he sat right by my side, he listened and asked more questions.  We could tell that he was genuinely concerned.

He wanted me to know that he would be consulting the specialist at the main hospital and ordering the necessary tests to rule out a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage.  He kept us informed.

We never had to ask what was going on, we were told.

We never had to find someone to answer our questions, they came to us, we were thankful.

When eye contact was made with healthcare professionals they never turned away, we were appreciative.

When they explained why I needed to be transferred by ambulance to the main hospital, we felt confident.

I knew that we were in a caring place with caring people from the first moment.  There was never a need for anyone to apologize for anything.  Each and every member of this healthcare team had been alert, attentive, professional and caring beyond measure.  “They” had me at hello.

In my profession, I address the good, the bad and the “oh my goodness!” as an “Undercover Patient” however this time it was for real.   I was not an “Undercover Patient” ~ that’s right…..the covers were OFF!   I was a real patient.

What I did not hear, see or miss was:

  • Personal conversations
  • Food & drinks
  • A complaining staff
  • Lack of accountability

What I did hear, see, appreciate and will always remember:

  • Concerned, caring and professional conversations
  • Clean and professional environment
  • A supportive team of healthcare professionals
  • 100% Accountability

These are gifts that cost you nothing. These are free gifts to your patients that will be appreciated and remembered, bringing you more return business and also bringing you new patients by word-of-mouth.

By the way, my final diagnosis was Cranial Shingle. It was “all in my head,” however our hearts truly were connected through compassion.

By Denise Price Thomas

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