My mother is 81 years old and although she lives at an independent living facility, she falls a lot, usually resulting in broken bones of some sort. Because I am my mother's only child in Florida, as well as a registered nurse, I have spent a lot of time inside hospital ERs, inpatient areas and rehabilitation centers. I can tell when the ER is busy and I can tell when things are slow.
One April morning, my mother was taken to Florida Hospital Tampa's ER. Walking in I noticed that it was, for the lack of a better word, a zoo. I recall taking a deep breath and being thankful I had brought my iPad along to get some work done as we were sure to spend the day waiting. But then, I couldn't help but be surprised as I noticed an ER doctor walk out from what sounded like a difficult code blue with a smile on his face, quickly demonstrating compassion and attentiveness to my mom and me. If that had been then end of the "dream," it would have been enough, however the compassionate care continued through my mother's admission, surgery, post-op period and even rehab, right up until her discharge! The pride that the employees felt as a result of being part of Florida Hospital Tampa is what struck me the most. This was demonstrated by the young man who came in to my mother's patient room to clean her after she had soiled herself. When I asked a bit apologetically if he regularly did tasks like this, he said, "Oh yes, I do. I am in the local medical school program and Florida Hospital hires students like me so we can make some extra money while gaining experience. But also, I just really love this hospital and I don't mind doing this because I am proud of what I do and where I get to do it. I will take great care of your mom." I will never forget that. You all rock!