All too often we are quick to list the bad days we have, the horrible people we meet and bad experiences we encounter. I know that I too am guilty of that in my blog. I have a pet peeve with rudeness, and I posted before about some of my negative experiences with nurses.
Is it possible to walk away from a day of ambulatory surgery with a smile on your face? I would never think it possible until I had a right heart catheterization there on Monday.
This time I am singing the praises of not just the nurses, but the entire staff at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY. When we entered the hospital, we went over to the information desk for directions to admitting, and the gentleman at the desk was very pleasant and directed us to where we needed to go. As we were making our way, every member of the hospital staff we passed told us good morning, with a smile.
At the admitting office, no one was at the desk, but there were some orderlies outside who saw us enter the admitting office and came over and told us that the person would be back soon. Within a minute a man appeared and said good morning with a smile and took my info, then led us to a waiting area and asked to wait until we were called.
Next, a lady came and called my name and smiled when I got up and said good morning and asked how my day was so far. She then led me to her office where she did not hand me a form and tell me to look it over to make sure the information was correct, but instead actually went through the form with me to verify all of my info. When we were done, she got up and let me back to the room where she got us, and told to have a seat and a nurse will come and get me in a while. She then wished me good luck with my procedure and left.
I thought I was dreaming. In Mt. Sinai in New York City, where I had four surgeries, three PET scans and numerous other tests, I can assure you that sort of humanity is not the norm. Usually you are greeted with grunts and forms handed to you on a clip board and told to “go sit there and make sure the info is correct and sign at the x”
From then on, I was taken care of by the nursing staff in the Cardiac Catheter unit, and every single one of them was pleasant, friendly and helpful. I asked one nurse how long she thought it might be before I had my procedure done, and she personally went upstairs to the Cath lab to ask. She came back down and apologized because one of the rooms had a computer issue so they were short a room, and that it might be an hour.
I was in awe. If I asked that question at Mt. Sinai, I would be told “No idea, I'll check”, and never get an answer until they wheel me away. The majority of the nurses in Mt. Sinai are nice and helpful, but there is always that set that really are bitches and just spoil it for everyone.
On Monday however, at WMS, not one nurse was rude, sour, nasty or indifferent. Every single one of the nurses, orderlies and support staff were friendly and helpful, and everyone smiles and says good morning. I was simply amazed.
My procedure went well, and to top it off, I received an email from the doctor apologizing for the wait time that I had. I was out by 3:00 pm. What wait time?