Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why we’re in this business

I'd like to share an e-mail I recently received from Lois Sperling, a social worker on our sixth floor. She wrote me on April 12, and it will be obvious why I consider her message important enough to share. I use this message with her permission.

I became an employee of Community General Hospital at the end of December 2006 as the Social Worker for the RHCF [residential health care facility].

In my position, I hear the good and the bad. There are often issues surrounding patient’s care and experiences but most of the input I have been receiving has been positive which is why I am writing to you.

On Wednesday…I heard from three different residents and/or their family about the care on this unit. They used expressions like “wonderful experience”, “very compassionate staff”, and being admitted on the 6th floor as something that was meant to be.

Today I witnessed two aides holding the hands of a dying resident with tears running down their faces. The daughter told them they were like family. The resident has only been here three weeks.

As I sit at my desk typing this email, I hear a resident’s spouse as he passes my office say to a male aide that he makes life worth living! I can’t help smiling almost in disbelief at the impact any of us can have on someone at any given time. That aide was simply being himself and not doing anything out of the ordinary for this person.

I have had very positive experiences in the past at this hospital as a patient and as a family member. Now I am proud to be a part of Community General Hospital and the team that serves the residents on the 6th floor.

Here is my response of April 13

What a wonderful message to receive. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Life is often difficult for us, for those we love, for those we know. What a privilege it is to make life better, even a little bit, for others. And how thoughtful you are to share this with me.

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