Friday, February 11, 2011

Muffy's Place

Last week I found myself in the Emergency Room at Wuesthoff Hospital in Melbourne Florida..  A combination of too many cigarettes and some kind of bug ganged up on me.  Before we go any farther, yes I smoke, and no,  I'm not going to justify myself or apologize for being a cigarette smoker..

Muffy's the Director of Medical Surgical Nursing at Wuesthoff, makes it her place, I know a few of you were wondering just what kind of place Muffy has, figured I'd better clear that up.  Anyway, the best way I could think of to thank Muffy's Medical Surgical Nurses, the folks in the ER and the Respiratory staff was to publish a blog and let Grumpy Readers know how I was treated..  
I went in through the ER, wasn't doing to well, the lady at the desk took one look and a couple minutes later I had a whole slew of really good people working on me.  I was X Rayed, MRI'd and bleed, (needles not leaches).  I wish I could remember the names of the people who worked on me..There were a lot of 'em,  I'm not sure how they didn't trip over each other, guess they have the entire drill down pat..

That's were I first encountered Carmin, a respiratory therapist. I was going to see a lot of her over the next few days.  Our first encounter was a little rough, we didn't exactly hit it off.  We got past that pretty quick.  I realized how smart she was the day, she walked into my room, CNN coverage of the situation in Egypt was on the TV.  She made a couple quick observations about the situation in Egypt that surprised me. Carmine turned out to a sharp woman, deeply religious and very smart.

Anyway, after a couple hours they got me into a room., that's where I met the first of my nurses, a young woman named Dana..  We've all met the super professionals, the kind that want you to know they consider themselves professionals.  Dana's so much of a professional she doesn't have to "Act professional"  The conversation was easy, with enough give and take we could have been old friends.    Inside of five minutes, she knew the best way to deal with me as a patient, and I'd decided I was going to live, after all,   I went to sleep.

That evening Dana was relieved by of the ugliest nurses I've ever met, but a dammed good one,  like Dana he was completely relaxed, he knew exactly what he was doing, and how to make it easy on both of us.  A good thing, since we had to put up with each other every night I was there.   Somewhere in our early conversions, he found out I liked coffee.. Not much of a luxury, but when you're trapped in a hospital room.. little things like that help.  Every morning,  before he hooked me up to an IV or stuck a needle in me, he made sure I had  coffee.  The first two nights he worked with Libby, the second two I got to meet Debbie..  Libby was an angel, Debbie was a bit closer to my age, when I left the hospital,  she took me downstairs, the goodbyes and best wishes were very sincere.

Friday I got to meet Jules and Carine..  mostly Carine.  Jules had a lot going on, I wasn't the only Med Surg patient up there, by then I wasn't looking or feeling like I was gonna croak any minute.   Carine made sure I had everything I needed,and as much of what I wanted as possible. 

It was pretty much the same on Saturday, when Maria was my nurse and her assistant was Beatrice,  Maria's a quiet young lady, she seemed a little reserved, but east to trust.  She managed to spend a little more time with me than Jules,  but there was a lot going on,  Beatrice is a great lady,  I saw her under pressure a couple times, she did a terrific job.

On Sunday morning Keith turned me over to Krista.  Krista was was a treat..  She always had a little Mona Lisa twinkle in her eye, like the others she was completely relaxed and sure of herself.  Remember that advanced professionalism I mentioned?  By Sunday I'd noticed everyone working on the floor was at that level.  Sometime Sunday afternoon Krista mentioned that, among other things, she had three blood transfusions going.  Don't think I could handle that kind of responsibility, but she could,  that professionalism thing again .

Monday and Sarah.. At first glace Sarah looks like the kind of person who follow her employers rules blindly and unquestionably..  First glances can be deceiving..  she never broke a rule, ,but she knew exactly when and how to use the rules to get something done.  By Monday I'd developed some trust issues with the Doctor the Hospital had assigned me, (that's a whole different blog) Sarah got them resolved, and me out of there.  She managed to do it on what seemed to be the busiest day the floor had while I was there.  There were people going to Surgery, coming from surgery, coming from the ER and to me, most of them didn't look that good. The place was busy, very busy,  Sarah took it all in stride.

While I was there I was getting breathing treatments every four hours, around the clock..  The folks on the Respiratory Team were fun to deal with, they were so cheerful I enjoyed getting woke up at four in the morning..  The best part of my stay was when I was leaving, one of the young ladies from the Respiratory Team gave me a big hug.

A couple other people made a real impression;

I'm going to start with Julie, she ws everywhere, doing everything she was qualified to do.. Anytime one of the other assistants had break off and take care of cruises, she jumped in, she didn't need to be asked, she just worked faster, smarter and little longer so she could cover two jobs, instead of just her own.

That brings me to Rosemarie, the woman never had an unkind word to say about anyone..  Even when she should have.  The staff works twelve hour days, 7-7 plus briefing time at the end of their shift.  That's a long day.  I forget which day it was, but people had been standing in the doorways to their rooms all day waiting to be discharged.  For that they needed the doctor to sign off, (Yeah That Doctor).  He didn't bother coming in until almost seven o'clock that night.  After already working for 12 hours Rosemarie spent another two hours getting those people out of there.. and keeping them smiling and laughing while she was doing it.  The next morning she was there bright, early and cheerful as ever.. I'd have still been PO'd.

Someplace else, her attitude would be considered remarkable, at Muffy's Place, she's about average.


  1. Nurse angel! Very nice tune. I am glad to hear you are better. I am also glad to hear about the hard-working AND caring professionals working in our community dedicated to healing the sick. We should honor them. Thank you for doing so here.

  2. I have been lucky enough..or unlucky depending on how you view have never made it past the emergency room. I predict I will die that way.

    Great to hear that our healthcare system is not broken in that way.

  3. Captain, up until a few years ago I had a great relationship with Emergency Rooms, we avoided each other.. unless I had to help someone else.

    More recently I've found out as we age things break easier.

    Sandra, I was surprised at the treatment I got from the Wuesthoff People..

    I'm still debating how to deal with that doctor, but he's an associate, not part of the Wuesthoff organization.

  4. you could have picked an easier way to make friends..
    Get better, okay?

  5. Grumpy-
    Glad you came thru it all with flying colors. RNs are great people...I'm married to one...a trauma nurse. They make great wives and mothers, and are real handy on a sail boat when blood starts to flow. All that said, what makes the good ones really special are their innate sense of caring and compassion. I love 'em...and mine in particular!

  6. Grump, glad you're doing better. Maybe I'm just a sexist, but in my vast experience, I've gotten very professional and caring treatment from hospital staff members (mainly female, but not only), My big beef is with the doctors, who generally don't give a rat's behind.

  7. Madpole, think I'll try and follow your advise, on both counts, getting better seems like a real good idea, and uh, there are much easiier ways to get to know people.

    Morgansailor.. If your bride is anything like the nurses I met last week, you're a pretty lucky guy..

    Bud, have to agree with everything you said, although I think the doctor cared about someone's behind.. just don't think it was mine. But the staff, (as you said, mostly female) were unbelievably caring and professional.

  8. Grumpy - So glad that the stay was brief. Your Common Sense is a very needed commodity.

  9. It's amazing what we will go through for just what appears to be mostly female attention. After two trips to the Emergency Room in Stuart, I married one of the nurses. That wound up hurting a lot more than what put me in the ER. . .but I digress.

    Glad to hear you made it. BTW, I stopped smoking on Martin Luther King day. Which really wasn't that long ago, however,

    If Obama and I could quit. . .

    Take care of yourself, a lot of people are depending on you.

  10. BTW, what is going on with Floriturd Today?

  11. You sure went out of your way to flirt with a bunch of women. ;) Glad they took good care of you. Nevermind the Doc, they like to think they're special but we know the nurses run the place. My question is how did you go 4 days without smoking????

  12. Fishy, a bunch of women who always seem to have sharp pointed objects in their hands can be very persuasive.

    I'm kidding, tell you truth, not smoking didn't bother me that much while I was in.. As soon as I got out, well............


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