Letters to the Editor

Let’s support our hospital | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

I have lived and worked for 35 years in nursing, I have worked for urban and rural health organizations; some were private, public and military hospitals. In each of those communities, those of us serving the healthcare needs of our neighbors felt we were valued and supported by our community.

I’ve lived on Whidbey for 12 years and am shocked when I hear residents and tourists make assumptions that because Whidbey General Hospital is small, it is unsophisticated. From the inside, the professional expertise and vision of the leaders and staff impressed me from the beginning, and still do. I have worked in teaching hospitals with professors on the cutting edge of their field, and I came to see that WGH attracted these same cutting-edge professionals who moved to Whidbey for the rural lifestyle, to serve and live in a close-knit community. I was excited to join such a team and would have moved here just to work with this talented group, even if it wasn’t a beautiful place to live.

Four years ago I had a health crisis, with emergency surgery, and a 10-day hospital stay. They say nurses can be the worse patients. We know what can go wrong, and we like to be in control.

I received compassionate and technically excellent care. I never felt the urge to micro-manage my care because I trusted the team, and coming from a nurse with high expectations, that is saying something. The only downside was I felt I was in an old military building; and I’ve worked in a few. When a roommate in distress about her health, called family or stumbled to the bathroom, I certainly didn’t get sleep, nor could I visit with my family without whispering. I had a few elective surgeries in the recent past with private rooms with space for my partner to spend the night if needed, which allowed me to focus on my own healing.

I am urging my fellow neighbors on Whidbey to support the bond that will remodel the patient-care areas. I work off-campus, so this will not directly affect me as an employee, but certainly will if a family member or I spend time as a patient.

I believe that we as a community need to support our hospital. We are an isolated community, and we only need look to Japan to see what could happen if our off-island transportation were compromised.

Peggy Sullivan

RHC Manager,

Whidbey General Hospital

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