Dear MultiCare and donors to MultiCare,
The matriarch of our family, the woman who helped raise me and who helped instill a strong moral compass and open hand for compassion, was cared for in your Allenmore facility. And we, her family, were looked after. Most of the time, we tried to stay out of the way to not be a burden, but we were always reminded how important our role was in her healing.
“She’s lucky to have you all,” a nurse would say, but my grandmother was lucky to have them.
While my family could certainly comfort her at home, we couldn’t care for her the way the emergency room staff did. We could not make her smile during painful procedures the way the second-floor east nursing staff could. We could not watch her 24 hours a day like the intensive care unit people could. We couldn’t be there in the last moments before surgery to comfort her the way the operating room staff could. We couldn’t trim with amazing precision and heal with amazing speed the way the doctors could. We couldn’t lift her the way the physical therapists could. We couldn’t navigate the admission and discharging processes the way your patient support staff could.
Luck is not part of good medicine. People are what give this place the illusion of luck. And when those people believe in a system, they work to support that system.
I’ve seen housekeepers that smile and do the extra steps to make a room more comfortable. I’ve found doctors that understand that they are not treating a chart or a condition, but rather a family who is worried and a woman who is in pain. Most of all, I’ve seen staff introduce themselves and treat their patients like beautiful humans and not sick citizens.
On the first night of her stay, I was asked the standard list of questions to admit her to the hospital. These questions are personal and procedural. I was not expecting an overnight stay and was a little shaken by it. The nursing staff made her comfortable while I provided the answers.
I told the nurse, “We’ll do what’s needed. She’s my world, she’s everything to me.”
The nurse said, “She’s everything to us, too."