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Message from Leadership- A View of Providence from the Patients’ Perspective

Published December 15, 2014

Message from Kim Williams, Chief Operating Officer

Throughout my (almost) 14 years working for Providence, I have had great confidence in the care and compassion our patients receive.  I have walked into work proud of this organization and of each caregiver every single day—but there is nothing like first-hand experience to reinforce a belief.

The first thing I’d like to tell you is that I am totally healthy and everything I experienced was my choice!  I frequently think of how blessed I am to have received the care I did, proactively.

My journey started in the breast center back in July with a routine screening and a follow-up call from my Radiologist. (Honestly, when I called her back I thought she was going to talk to me about purchasing some equipment.) I was a bit surprised when she said she wanted to talk about some recommended tests as follow-up.  From there, I spent some time with our genetic counselor, had my blood drawn and simply forgot about it. 

When it came time to learn about my test results, I felt bad for my radiologist who had to share the abnormal results with me. After that difficult conversation, I left feeling optimistic and grateful to have the information—there was no one better than her to have that discussion with.

I ended up seeing two doctors for consultation, one of whom is a PMG provider; he and his team were really fantastic! As I continued on my journey, I had an MRI, a CT, and labs drawn. I spoke with centralized scheduling, registration, and surgery schedulers at my surgeon’s office. I asked many questions to my caregivers, like what my experience would be like, what unit would I go to after surgery, how long will I need to be hospitalized, etc..  Everybody who helped care for me was absolutely fantastic, kind, caring, honest, open, and so much more.

My elected surgery was then scheduled in October. I visited the surgical unit, 2N at Colby, and had great visits with pre-operative staff, the HUC, anesthesia, preadmission RNs and the MDs. I remember the RN from surgery and the CRNA at my bedside but I do not remember my trip out of the room into the OR (gosh, that is a measure of great preoperative medications!).  About 10 hours later, I woke up in PACU and experienced yet again, awesome, kind staff. I remember at this point thinking how lucky I was to work here, know many of the folks caring for me, knowing they were great nurses and that I was in excellent hands.

Getting to my room was a relief. I couldn’t wait to see my husband, daughter and mom (I felt bad that she had been here for 16 hours!).  Many members of the Foundation and my friends that I work with each and every day, kept tabs on my family. Even more than my own care, my family felt cared for by my Providence Family. It’s hard to tell folks thank you for that type of kindness.  Overall, I spent three nights at Providence and left totally in awe of the great care I received. Here are some of the highlights from my visit:

  • Limited caregiver contacts: I had only 3 nurses total in 6 shifts!
  • Purposeful rounds: I knew exactly when the nurse was coming back, and she always was there—I think I used my call light once in three days.
  • Bedside report: Although I am a nurse, I have only been an inpatient when I had my two children, many years ago.  I had lots of gadgets and it was great to know everything was progressing normally.  
  • Group rounding: The nurses and Drs. rounded together and this was another great opportunity for me to ask questions, and for the nurse to ask questions.  Once during a MD visit, he and I were chatting about how great I thought my care had been and he shared that he felt that the care the staff gave his/his partner’s patients was top notch and surpassed what his experience had been at the large, local, academic center that he had practiced in prior to coming to Everett!  It was nice for the nurse to hear these compliments. I am confident that none of you hear often enough how appreciated you are!
  • Even more kind staff: The environmental service staff and dietary staff that visited me were incredibly kind and friendly. 
  • Follow-up information: I had great instructions on how to care for myself, and very personalized instructions, as I prepared to discharge home.

In the middle of the night after surgery, I woke up thinking how happy I was. I was happy that I decided to have surgery, happy that it was done and I was fine, and happy I was comfortable!  Those thoughts are gifts when you are in the hospital.

After many cards, flowers and well wishes, I am back to work and feeling good.  I have been back into my doctor’s office many times since October and have pestered the staff with more than one question. However, they are always very patient with me.  Only one time since July did I think, “Oh my gosh, I hope we don’t really talk to our patients that way—I know my way around the system but most of our patients don’t.”  Each of us have a story, and most folks that approach our counters, or call us, have lots on their minds, they may be scared and most of the time they are vulnerable and trust us to care for them. 

I am now 101% confident of how well our patients are cared for.  I know there are many of you that had some role in my care and I want to thank you.  There is no doubt that it takes each of us, doing our best, to ensure that patients always have an experience as terrific as mine.  Thanks for your commitment to our mission—for that is what sets us apart.