Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Note on Evergreen Hospital

Although my grandfather's broken hip has been sad, scary and traumatic all at the same time, I have to say just a word about Evergreen Hospital. I've been in a lot of hospitals over the years, but I've never met one that has demonstrated as much a sense of customer service – or, rather, care and concern. The facilities there are astonishingly well thought-out. They've got a built-in cot in every room, and encourage family members to spend the night. The floors are hardwood, not linoleum. The doctors actually answer your questions, and several of them even ran quick errands for us. We tried to sneak my grandfather's dog into his room, only to have him joyfully greeted by the nurses. They've got not one but two espresso stands. The nurses teased and flirted with my grandfather, and came within seconds if he pressed the call button. Dr. Roh, my grandfather's surgeon, explained in a great deal of reassuring detail exactly what was going on with my grandfather's hip, and let us know that he'd be praying for him. It was an astonishing experience.

Of course, not everyone there was at the same level. Some of the staff were merely "OK", and one nurse ("Nurse Ratchett," we called her) was particularly unpleasant. She started off by chasing my brother's girlfriend out of the emergency room three times before she finally gave up and let her stay; and she followed it up by nearly wrestling my grandfather back onto his bed when he tried to help them get his shirt off by leaning forward. But she was an exception, and even though she was fully competent, her lack of customer service stood out like a sore thumb relative to nearly everyone else we encountered.

I don't recommend breaking your hip. But if you do, I recommend Evergreen Hospital.

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