Patient Thanks to the NCH Emergency Department
“The irony of spending hours in the ER at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, afternoon into early evening, on the day that the island’s biggest fundraiser for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital with the Boston Pops was being held, was not lost on me.
This served to sharpen even more the critical need all of us have to have a beautifully functioning, efficient and medically competent hospital in place. For that was what my houseguest and I found Saturday afternoon. Head over handlebars on an unfamiliar bike brought my friend in, walking into the ER having trouble breathing, in pain, bearing the mark of this accident with obvious scrapes and bloody leg and arm. We had barely sat down at the first step of admittance when a nurse appeared to check vital signs and importantly, listen for signs of a collapsed lung. The wonderfully compassionate and smart admissions person had called in for immediate examination. Thankfully, no collapsed lung, so into waiting room we went.
As a happy sidebar, while waiting, I was able to run up to maternity to kiss my friend Kate and newborn Leo in their blissful cocoon of care on that ward. Back down to ER where x-ray showed two cracked ribs. My friend complained of abdominal pain, so CT scan was next to ensure no damage to his spleen. I was growing really concerned about that, as obviously, so was ER doctor. In a mark of particularly grace, he sent in another doctor who entered with a convivial greeting and made it sound as if he was just stopping by to check in…made a point of feeling belly, all the while chatting with my friend, thus causing no other alarm. So smart. My friend had never had any medical issues and this whole thing was a bit stressful, albeit helped by IV infusion of morphine. So he never realized that in fact, here was a second opinion, due to growing concern. All of us kept that from him, waiting on results from CT scan. Thankfully, scan came back clear.
Every step of our way was met with professional, competent, caring individuals, from admissions, to nursing, to radiology to the doctors we met. The nurses were extraordinary, even in the face of an incoming accident that resulted in staff having to be brought in who were off; there was constant checking in, and offering apology for delays that we were facing.
I was raised in hospitals and laboratories—medicine was my family’s field. I spent a career as a producer specializing in medical pieces. Our experience was as good as it gets on every level. (Short of, of course, of a better facility which we are all working towards.)
With thanks and with appreciation and gratitude for the compassionate care,”