Craig To the editor:
I have had the privilege of working as a registered nurse at The Memorial Hospital for almost 12 years. As the debate continues regarding the hospital's request for tax support through a mill levy, I'd like to give a little of an insider's view.
When I started working at TMH, I was surprised at the varied knowledge and background experiences the nursing staff contributed to our small community hospital. I was also surprised at the high level of excellence the nurses expected in themselves as well as their co-workers.
How refreshing to become a part of a team so committed to each other, the hospital and most importantly the community we serve. The nurses that "nurse" at TMH stay because we are passionate about providing exceptional nursing care to our friends, families and neighbors. The addition of the nursing program to Colorado Northwestern Community College's curriculum has contributed an infusion of excitement and encouragement to the nursing staff. We have been given an opportunity to mentor young nurses and share our passion with them.
The disappointment when our building project was put on hold was not felt any more acutely by anyone than the nursing staff. We are at TMH 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We continue to develop creative ways to provide the highest level of nursing in an aging building.
Now, can we continue to provide excellent nursing care in the current facility? Yes. Can we hope to move into the future of nursing and health care in the current facility? I answer this question yes, but with the additional comment - it definitely won't be optimal and won't allow us to provide the best available to our patients. By designing and building a new facility, the leaders at TMH are anticipating the advances in health care that are inevitable. The changes at TMH are more than just a building. There is an excitement in our environment that is palpable when you walk through the doors. The smiles and greetings, the sense of connection between our departments, the commitment of the employees to each other and our community are evidence of these changes.
I consider it an honor to call myself a nurse. It is not what I do - it is who I am. It is an honor to work for a facility whose utmost desire is to provide the best health care we can to our community. Please carefully consider our request for your support.