To each and every individual who was there for my mother while she was hospitalized, in any capacity, thank you. Even though those words seem insufficient for your care for her, they are what I have to offer.
I know that everyone has their opinions of hospitals over all and individually. Whether it is through what they have experienced or overheard from others. On Sunday, May eighth, I chose to have my mother taken by ambulance to Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia. Formerly known as Gaston Memorial. I had heard complaints about this hospital before and especially since the advent of social media. We have used this hospital many times and never had the bad experience that others say they dealt with. This experience though, I want to share.
When I dialed 911, the dispatcher answered on the second ring. They were polite, they were obviously experienced and they knew exactly what to ask and what to instruct.
The paramedics were very gentle and kind to my mother. They spoke with her kindly and with deep compassion. They assisted in getting here carefully out of her chair and onto the stretcher. While I rode in the front I could hear the paramedic in the back talking with mom, keeping her calm while keeping up with her status.
Arriving at the hospital we were met just inside the building by admissions, making sure of her name and getting the wrist band in place. Quickly we were moved to an examining room where her medical team went to work. They immediately began checking for obvious causes for her symptoms ruling out one by one. Yet still running tests all through her visit just to make sure, and to make sure that what they were doing was not causing additional issues.
They allowed me, my brother and dad back in the emergency room and then checked and allowed us all to follow when they had a room to move her into.
The entire time she was there, no matter what needed to be done, everyone was kind and compassionate. They spoke to her with a gentle but genuine compassion. All through her stay, they had to draw blood on a regular basis. Some were better at it than others, there were times that it was difficult for them but it wasn’t their fault. With each time they did all they could not to cause her pain. I stayed with mom almost the entire time she was there, only going home twice for a very brief time and then back to be there for her. I saw nearly every time someone checked on her, quietly opening the door to peek in and then leave, or when it was time for some medical something, they ever so gently woke her.
Her emergency room doctor was thorough but kind. I heard nothing but good about him from the staff. To me, that says a lot. If the medical team all get along and respect each other, the care should be better.
Her regular doctor was personable, listening to us, answering questions and at one point even considering allowing us to bring mom’s spoiled dog in for a visit. We didn’t.
Her cardiologist, who turned out to be someone she had seen years ago, remembered her. That was a big plus in my book. He had already done his research on her files from why she was there. He asked questions and explained carefully making sure we understood what they were doing and what tests and why.
The Kidney doctor, explained what was going on, why it was happening and what they had to keep an eye on. He was the one who made her stay another day but even though she didn’t like it, she didn’t argue. We wanted to make sure when she went home, it was safe for her to do so.
If I were to try to express my appreciation to her nursing teams in full, I would be writing a novel similar in length to Gone With the Wind (1472 pages). Even during their shift changes, they were there for her. Most often there was someone close by in the hallway, if they were not, they were only a push of a button away. Most often taking only mere moments to arrive to respond to her need. They kept her comfortable, they made sure she had her needs and even a few wants. And they did not ignore me or any other member of our family that was there. Always always asking if we needed anything. They got dad water and a pack of crackers once while he was there. Any and all questions were answered as they were able. By the time mom was released, I was helping as I could to attempt to ease a heavy work load. A load that did not lessen the care one bit.
My mother, even in her health issues, was doing her best to not complain or be a problem, apologizing with every need. They tried to tell her it was fine, she wasn’t a bother, but mom. I noticed though that even the patients that one would possibly consider more difficult, were treated with kindness. My brother said he heard one incident that he wasn’t pleased about but it had nothing to do with our mother.
The housekeeping staff were respectful and quiet in their duties. Making sure to not disturb her as they went about their work.
Those who delivered her food and removed the tray afterward were the same. There was the one moment when mom complained about the tea they brought her, calling it sugar water. The one retrieving the tray made a comment that mom later mentioned to the nutritionist who said that was unacceptable and she would handle that as none of her staff should or would be disrespecting patients. She also said that she knew exactly how to make sure mom didn’t get sugar water again. (I’m not giving away any secrets here)
When they finally delivered the news that she was being discharged she was overjoyed to say the least. (She had only been asking to go home from day one) They removed all she was hooked up to and I helped her get dressed. They came back with all the paperwork and removed the IV line. When they arrived with the wheelchair Mom moved with the excitement and confidence one would expect from one finally getting their wishes granted. I had messaged my brother and son so they knew we were finally headed home. As mom was chauffeured from the room to the parking deck she talked happily with the individual pushing her along. They waited as I went for the car, which happily I had been able to park fairly close. Helping mom into the car she wished us well. Pulling out of the parking deck mom did not look back.
So yes, I want every individual, no matter the part they held, who attended to my mother, to know how greatly they are appreciated. I want them to know we are so deeply grateful for their care, their knowledge, their compassion, everything they did for her and us. If people can complain on social media about every little thing that they deem bad, I will stand on mountaintops and shout out about the amazing care that as given my mother. I know, because I was there to see and experience it myself. #CaromontRegionalMedicalCenter thank you.
I am glad that this hospital is so well staffed, this means so much to patients and families! ❤️
They were all so good to mom and even taking care of us when we were in there with her. Bringing water or crackers or even coffee for dad once. I know no one is perfect, but I can’t say enough good about those who took care of my mother.