I spent most of Wednesday night and early Thurday morning interacting from the healthcare system from 500 miles away. To sum up: my elderly mother, infirm, running O2 24/7, etc, had developed an infection in her leg that was much worse than originally thought. In the course of 2 days, the infection took hold and she arrested at least 3 times before a DNR order was signed. She died 15 minutes later. In the course of this time, my dad had to make the decision to sign, and as is always the case, the reality is very different from the hypothetical discussion.
Our thanks to Blake Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, FL – my dad told me that the staff was kind and considerate. I had several phone calls with Angie, a nurse in the ICU. When I called to ask her to locate a chaplain (around midnight), well, she was already working on that.
Blake is an HCA hospital, and I am not a huge fan of HCA or for-profit hospitals (and non-profits that behave as for-profits). The people at Blake – and business is always about people – put their technical skills to work, and as importantly, put their personal skills to work as well. The work Angie did that night made a big difference in the lives of many people.
I’ll probably be a light poster over the next few days as I’m with family.So, always remember – caring for people really is a noble profession. We can be cynical about altruism, we see how money and the lure of quick dollars has infected the professions. When all is said and done, and we do a lot of saying here and on other websites, books, journals, etc – it comes down to people, and our human desire to help people. That’s why we’re here, and we should always be proud of this!