Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mama Bear Goes to the ED

I’ve been writing about Fauquier Health's Emergency Department for more than a year now, and even had to visit as a patient once during that time.

But last night I gave it a real test. My 12-year-old daughter was injured while playing soccer – a nasty hamstring pull – and the folks in the ED were absolutely wonderful to us.

We came limping in about 6:00 p.m. or so. She was in a lot of pain and I was worried. When I’m worried about one of my children, I become a pain in the neck to those around me. I just want somebody to FIX IT, already.

The ED staff was more than up to the task of FIXING IT -- and calming me down. They attended to us quickly, patiently answered my preponderance of questions, and did not get ruffled when I kept popping out of the exam room to ask for an extra pillow, or tissues or to ask about Motrin.

Linda Nixon, Patient Access greeter, couldn’t have been sweeter. She greeted us warmly and gently joked with my young athlete, making her feel better.

Penny Delsignore was one of the nurses. She quickly assessed the situation and after checking with the nurse practitioner, ordered X-rays. Throughout our time in the ED, she was smiling and cheerful, sympathetic and informative.

Medical Imaging technologist Amy Inskeep took X-rays right in our exam room, with as little jostling as possible.
Cindy Hennigh, nurse practitioner, came in next after looking at the X-rays. She had to manipulate my daughter’s leg to make a diagnosis. It hurt a lot and that’s when the tears started flowing. Mama Bear instincts kicked in for me and I asked a lot of questions. Cindy was compassionate and professional; she explained everything completely.
Tim O’Donnell, clinical services technician, helped my little girl into her leg brace and explained what she needed to do and how to do it. He was extremely thorough and his sense of humor was much appreciated. He demonstrated the right – and wrong – way to use crutches (no races, no leaning on your armpits and no wearing flip flops). He covered everything from sleeping to bathing to managing the hallways at school.

I want to thank everyone in the ED for their kindness. They obviously have lots of experience dealing with Mama Bears, and know just how to handle them – with respect, caring and lots of patience.

We all were pretty tired at finally arriving home, but the leg brace helped a lot, so my girl was smiling again. As my daughter scooted up the stairs on her rear end – as directed by Tim – we got a phone call. Tim rang up to say my daughter had left her flip flops in the exam room.

It was sweet of him to call, and I really appreciated the extra courtesy-- even though she won’t need that particular footwear for a while.

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