As an registered nurse for 27 years and an emergency room nurse for 20 years, I take offense to the frequently read and heard statement that Whidbey General Hospital is a “first-aid station.”
I was employed by WGH for 11 years, exclusively in the emergency department. Unfortunately, I suffered a work injury and, sadly, I was terminated a couple of months ago after I exhausted my Family Medical and Leave Act allowance. I had worked in big city hospitals my whole career and found rural nursing more exciting and challenging than a Level 1 facility.
Unlike the mainland, we often do not have the necessary resources available, however I have never worked with a physician-nursing team as competent as those currently at Whidbey General.
Whidbey General, as with any hospital emergency room, sees many clinic-type patients. But, when the traumas, strokes, heart attacks and other potentially life-threatening situations arrive, Whidbey General is able to treat, stabilize and transfer, if necessary, any member of our community to the appropriate ‘higher-level of care’ facility.
Imagine your life if Whidbey General is not here when you need them; traveling off island means a delay in treatment and it could cost you your life.
Bottom line: Whidbey General Hospital saves lives.
If you have ever been a patient in any hospital with double rooms, you know how difficult that can be. Sharing a room with a stranger deprives you of your privacy, ability to rest when you need to. And let’s not even get into the single TV and your roommate’s visitors; it’s like having to share your hotel room with a stranger all while you’re sicker than a dog. If you have never seen Whidbey General’s 210-square-foot double patient rooms, perhaps the hospital would be willing to post some pictures.
Whidbey General administrative politics aside, single patient rooms are the standard for 21st century healthcare and will probably be government mandated in the near future.