My 9-year old daughter slammed her finger in the door at school The nurse assessed her finger and it was decided that stitches were necessary. We ended up going to the wrong place (thinking we were at the children's hospital) and we were seen in the general ER at St. Joe's. I was not impressed with how chaotic things seemed and the fact that they left her in the hallway, which I later learned was an actual bay for patients. I was also horrified with how old and dilapidated things seemed. I convinced myself that they weren't going to be able to care for my daughter the way she really needed to be cared for. We almost left before we were seen. I tried to contain my negativity and skepticism, but it was difficult.
Then we met the staff.
The first person to greet us was the PA, Craig, who was the perfect person for my daughter. He spoke to her instead of us (thank you patient-centered care!), told her what would be happening, and maintained a level of calm and cool that was just what we all needed. Granted this was a small thing compared to what they usually see, but for those of us it's a big thing for us in that moment.
We started with x-rays, and Craig promised a printout to take to school. That made her smile. He then endured her screaming and tears while giving her the shot for numbing. He stayed patient as he convinced her to calm down. He gave her the extra time she needed and that meant the world.
By the time she got the stitches, she was watching closely and said, "Thank you so much for the shot. This would have really hurt otherwise."
There were also two nurses who were excellent at talking with her and making her feel special, Lindsey and Adam. They came to look at her x-rays and commiserate about the pain of slamming a finger in a door. They also were sensitive and moved her to a different area of the ER so she wouldn't have to witness a combative patient arriving.
We ended up leaving St. Joe's that night thankful that we had made the mistake of going to the wrong place. We even believe it happened for a reason.
I am so glad to hear that St. Joe's will be getting a new physical environment soon. It will be nice for the people who work there to get to work in a place as beautiful as they are. In the meantime, though, we won't think twice before going back to that chaotic old place if we need an ER. The people working there were worth it!