Friday, February 11, 2011

A Fine Institution

We have just spent the last week in our neighborhood inner-city hospital. Honestly, Research Medical Center often takes a bad "rap" with my Johnson County and North Kansas City friends. They like Shawnee Mission Hospital or Kansas City North. St. Joseph's left the inner city to build a complex on State Line and Memorah moved way out into Leawood. The folks in Waldo and Brookside all visit the Plazaaa hospital of St. Lukes. I only know one friend who actually does go to Research beside Hubby and me. But I'm here to attest that no finer service can be provided anywhere in the country for the normal problems of an aging heart with complications or for problems treated by nuclear medicine.

We weren't in need of advanced medical care this time around -- we just needed help getting over the complications of the atrial fibrillation diagnosis of January. The meds were off. Hubby was experiencing congestive heart failure and we were scared. He couldn't breath. His blood clotting levels had suddenly zoomed into the scary numbers -- a bloody nose would be difficult to stop. His heart beat was again out of sync and he could feel it racing. His blood pressure was way up. His sugar levels were off. If he laid down he felt like he was dying. Both of us were terror struck.

Our very early morning entry into Research's ER was a dream. Hubby was immediately seen, placed in an exam room with staff buzzing around him and quickly doctor's taking vitals. People were brisk and efficient and concerned not just about Hubby but about me, as well. With three hours we were admitted to the heart care unit.

On the 4th floor, everyone from housekeeping to the dietary staff dropped by to see if we were satisfied. We immediately got a "nothing by mouth" order but the LPN scurried around and got me a tray of breakfast food. When I got upset because it looked like no one was taking Hubby's vitals, the charge nurse came by to explain how everything was now digital and Hubby was indeed hooked in to the hospital's main computer system and they knew every beat of his weary heart. The head of housekeeping came along to see if we were "satisfied" with the room. I pointed out that some small "debris" was still on the floor and that second chair in the room would be more than welcome. The floor was washed within 30 minutes and a very comfy chair was delivered within 10.

The chest x-ray had taken place in the ER. The eco-cardiogram staff came with a bed before we had a chance to put away Hubby's clothes to whisk him down for testing.

RNs, LPNs, and the charge nurse were always on call and in and out of the room all day and all night. We never rang for help but it didn't arrive within five minutes -- usually less. And when we rang it was usually because of beeping IV machines which drove me nuts but weren't serious problems.
The cardiologist came to visit that evening, the next morning, and today just before we left for home. Our clinic doctors came three times a day. The cardiologist staff came to show us videos and when they found Hubby out having tests, they rescheduled and CAME when they said they would. The dietary staff came to explain how low sodium and very low sugar diets work. The head chef came by to see how we liked the meals -- and when we said that the fruit they had in the visitor's cafeteria was out of this world, he explained that patients could order it and it would arrive for every meal. From then on, gorgeous oranges and apples and raspberries and blueberries came with every meal. Popsicles were available 24 / 7 on the floor for Hubby, as well as sherbet and applesauce.

We were pampered the entire stay. We were treated with respect and dignity. We laughed in the face of serious illness -- and that will almost always improve the healing process. The nurses treated Hubby so wonderfully well. The doctors were responsive and answered questions until we felt we had the "scoop" on our progress -- and they gave out phone numbers so we could call if more questions came up.

Research Hospital in Kansas City is a five star establishment. It may be located in the heart of the inner city but the quality of care provided there is truly world-class and can compete shoulder to shoulder with those hospitals that fled the the heart of the city to provide care for the suburbanites. They certainly earned our loyalty, in 2006 and now again in 2011.

Hubby's home. We have Research staff's caring attention to thank for that.


Margaret said...

I'm so glad he's home and what a wonderful testimonial to the care you received at this hospital. I hope you let the hospital admin know too; positives are probably rare in that field. Keep us posted on his progress--hope he(and you) are feeling much better. Love you.

Donna said...

I know lots of people who spent time at Research. At one time our little rinky-dink local hospital was linked up to them; if they couldn't fix you with bandaids, a helicopter took you to Research. I don't know if that's still the case or not.
I will tell you that nurses are among my greatest heroes. I believe that nurses and teachers are as close as you get to angels on this earth.

snugpug said...

So glad to hear he's home. I'm sure the Schnauzers will continue with the great nursing care.