Joanne Lighthizer: Hospital staff is the problem

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To the editor:

This is in regard to the new hospital issue and all the false hope that comes with it.

The old hospital is not what the issue was; it was the staff. Changes were needed with the entire staff - not the hospital or its location.

It doesn't matter how many new bells and whistles they make with the new building - it still will have the same outcome and reputation as the old one because it was not a problem with the building.

Nothing will change until it is acknowledged that it is the service that is lacking.

I have had to go to the hospital on several occasions, and each visit had the same complete lack of quality and unpleasant service. I agree completely with the young lady who submitted her letter to you: She hit it right on the nose, and her experience was much like mine.

My last visit was by ambulance, and I was not able to relay my wishes to not go to this hospital. That will never happen again.

Not only was it a very costly trip, but it put a new light on "rude and unprofessional care."

I left the hospital knowing nothing more than when I entered and had to go to the Steamboat hospital the following week to find out what actually happened. The doctor was of no service at all, and no questions were answered.

I, too, was left in the ER room for several hours with virtually no contact from anyone except when I finally decided it was time to go home. It was a huge waste of time and money. So, forget this new hospital that will cost all of us money.

I am sure it will get "visits" from those who want to see the new building, but as far as patients are concerned, it will still be the same old hospital with the same problems that they have created for years now.

I, for one, deeply resent having to pay for this.

Joanne Lighthizer

Comments

Craig_gal 5 years, 9 months ago

please, I am so tired of hearing how bad the staff is at this hospital. I have had to use many hospitals including the two local ones and, I am always satisfied with the professionalism and care that I receive at TMH. When I go, I expect excellent service and my needs and experiences are always met and surpassed. I for one am looking forward to a new building that will give staff the surroundings that they deserve.

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mustang 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Craig_gal, I couln't agree with you more. I am sure that there are many positive stories out there about the TMH staff, but like most of us we only voice our opinions to everyone when we are dissatisfied. I know if I go to the store and I find everything that I need and the service is great, I don't say or even think anything about it. If the opposite were true, then I would have a lot to say. I myself would love to hear some of the good stories and experiences that people have had at TMH. Can you imagine being one of the employees there? How would I feel if I was trying my hardest and working till I was exhausted and still have all of these negative things written in the paper? I would be frustrated.

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Kyote 5 years, 9 months ago

Joanne,

Your case isn't everything you make it out to be. You would not have been pleased with the service if it was done at the Ritz and performed by Dr. Wiley. I would like to back up what Mustang is saying about our staff. The nurses, doctors, and staff are top notch. Ok we have a couple quacks in the ER for doctors, but we do have others who do a very good job and are very well trained and all the nurses in the ER do a great job. The problem isn't our staff it is our administration. We have a hundred people in our business office trying to collect money and only one nurse in the ER. Do you know how hard it is to treat multiple patients when you are the ONLY nurse down there? One morning we had a half a dozen patients hit the door at the same time and four of the six only spoke spanish and we very few people who can speak spanish around here. Every other day we have really competant staff leave and they are replaced by new grads and people who have never worked in a hospital before. This is our leaderships way of saving money. Our staff is going the extra mile to make sure you receive the best care possible, its our leadership here that has hung you out to dry. Next time, put the blame on the people who are to blame.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

You asked for it, here I am. I have worked at TMH going on 20 years now, with a small furlough for three years, so I have seen both administrations at work...given the choice I would take this one over the prior admins hands down. You are right mustang and craig_gal, nobody writes anything about the lives we save or the sick we heal, only the bad(thanks for your support BTW). I personally have been involved in three very serious traumas over the last 12 months, if this hospital or its staff were not here, those people would have died, straight up. Hunters that come from all corners rave about us and how well they are treated if needing to use our facility and I have taken my own family members there for treatment, surgery, testing and whatever else is needed in a hospital. Never once have I been treated any different than what I had expected.

The negativity is getting old and if anything it is making this issue here worse, it drags down morale and that has an effect on patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is, and has always been, at the top of our list, we strive daily to satisfy our patients and provide a positive outcome to your visit, we don't sit around plotting how we are going to make someones day go bad. When constantly bashed and beaten, it does take a toll, kind of like the schoolyard bully...you can only take so much. I would be more than happy to take anyone on a tour of our current facility to inform you on what we are up against and show you what we work with each day. I have spoken with our executive members on posting here and giving tours. They are in full support, they feel that maybe the actual employees might make a difference by sharing what they deal with on a day-to-day basis. I won't be the only one you will be hearing from.

Please ask questions and I will answer them. If I don't have the answers I will find them out. Forget the financial stuff as I have no interest in that end of it and I am not qualified to answer those type of questions anyway, sorry stan. I am here out of sheer frustration, like described by mustang above, because we do good things, we save lives and we heal the sick...all to get drug through the mud for it.

Last thought: Imagine Craig without a hospital, which if the bond issue did not pass could have been a reality...it was close, we almost lost it all. I don't want to think of how many people would have died on the way to Steamboat because of the few who don't want Craig to be a better place to live. I don't want to think of those that will die on the way to Steamboat because some think their local hospital does not care....that is simply untrue. Thanks for listening and fire away with those questions.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

A shadow program would certainly be an eye-opener, pick a health care worker and follow them around for a day. While not possible in a hospital setting(HIPPA, blood, smells...etc), I think the public would be shocked and amazed at what our little hospital offers and how hard we work to provide it. They would be equally amazed at the cramped conditions we have to work in, and how we manage to make the best of it every day. Something like that might put a cap on all the negativity and we can get back to doing what we do best, taking care of people.

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grannyrett 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you David. I know you guys work hard to provide care for all your patients. Most of us really appreciate it. I have never had problems with the care received at the hospital. You guys rock! As for Kyote--if things are really so bad, why aren't you working in Steamboat? Many people commute daily.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to type a response grannyrett, we appreciate it when we are appreciated. Unfortunately for some former employees, that daily commute has become a reality, everyone has a breaking point. In my opinion, things are not even close to being bad enough to commute everyday...I'll take my 1 mile drive any day.

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grannyrett 5 years, 9 months ago

David-I remember you at the hospital--You have always been compassionate and professional. You are a real asset as are many I have dealt with at the hospital. Our new hospital will be in good hands.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

"Our new hospital will be in good hands" Well said...and again, thanks.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

Craig_gal, Thank you for setting me straight, I can respect that. I get a little passionate about certain things and I realize that I ramble on quite a bit, I will tame that attitude in the future...the last thing I want is to be negative or disrespectful.

If I offended anyone or made them feel different in any way after reading my last set of comments, I apologize. In no way am I placing any guilt on anyone for any decision they may make, I would not want to be judged in the same manner. Back to the subject...

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lonelyone 5 years, 9 months ago

I kinda got the impression that Kyote likes their job at the hospital and was sticking up for it. Yes he/she sounded a bit frustrated about some of it, but I think many people are at times with their jobs or how things are run, doesn't mean they don't want to work there anymore tho. My husband and I have both received good care during our stays at the Craig hospital. I got mad at them once because of their billing practices, but I think they have somewhat changed what was going on at the time. I hope everything turns out well for the new hospital and we can all smile and say well done when this is all over with.

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

"I hope everything turns out well for the new hospital and we can all smile and say well done when this is all over with."

What a positive quote, thank you. I will remind those that were here way back in the day when the wave pool was first brought up...I thought this town was going to riot because of it. Now, it is a positive business venture and has been quite successful. Why can't the hospital recieve the same thought...that even though this may seem ridiculous to some to build new, now...it will all work out and be a grand addition to our community when it is finished? As for the staff here, we are giddy and excited to finally be able to provide healthcare in a modern facility. Words like giddy and excited do not sound like a group of begrudged employees who set out to treat people rudely...that is just not in a healthcare workers nature and I don't know anyone here who makes it a point to ruin someone day. Remember, even we healthcare employees are human...truthfully we are subjected to higher levels of stress than your run of the mill Wal-mart employee(just an example). Stress put on a healthcare worker is at the highest level, unless you have worked it, you have no idea about it(peoples lives are in our hands...very stressful). That is no excuse to treat our patients rudely but it all eventually goes back to the human factor, we do the best we can with what we are given...in that respect we do very well at TMH. Thank You lonelyone for your post, I am pleased your hospital visits have been pleasant other than the billing. What company has a fool-proof, perfect billing system though? Do realize however that some of those practices may be developed because of those that won't or refuse to pay, unfortunatly like all laws they affect the good people as well. Sorry that happened and we will do better the next time, hopefully that won't be anytime to soon.

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Marvin 5 years, 9 months ago

I think that the memorial hospital is an example of poor patient care, and general lack of compassion. I have came to this conclusion after a personal experience that I had there. I was at the time in excruciating pain that was so intense that it made me loose my vision and constantly vomit. I had stayed away from the hospital as long as I could because of what friends, relatives, and the media says of their reputation. My mother finally forced to go when I lost my vision. I was taken to the ER and the physicain sent me home WITHOUT any paing managment, or ANY examinations to rule out anything dire or life thretening--- and the reson given was,, and get this,, THAT THE ULTRASOUND TECH. WOULDNT BE IN UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING!!!! IT blew my mind that a dr.IN THE ER, would NOT treat and EMERGENCY IMMEDIATLY. DONT ER's have dr. on call because of EMERGENCYS?! my old mother had to carry me up to me bed and sat with me as I tossed and turned, with out sight, while vomiting nothing but bile. She had it and so had I and she tookj me back and demanded that they do something because she thought I was dieing! -- All they did was layme down on a cot in a room and stick an IV in me. I was lying there, in a dark room with out being checked on for HOURS! I had vomitted several times, and STILL could not see! It took all the energy that I had to YELL as LOUD as I possibly could to get someone to help me. After insisting that they help me (repeatedly!) the hooked me up to a morphine drip, which I reacted to as my veins burned and skin itched. This was a horrid experience, and I would have expected to be treated so sub par at a mexican hospital, or something! But not here in the US! After the tech. got in, (in the morning, because no one thought it serious enough an EMERGENCY to call him in at night. because hey, who cares if the patient CROAKS in that room alone, as long as the good DR. is well rested!!!!) They discovered that I had gallbladder disease and that it was close to exploding inside of me. And they operated immediatly. The after care was as comperable to the Er care in regards to the affect of the nurseing staff. I had just had abdominal surgery, and was in IMMENSE pain and could not sit up in bed seiing as that requires you to do a crunch to sit up... so I pagedd a nurse to help me to the bathroom and I remember, clear as day, that she said that I need to justr deal with it and get up on my own, because I was going home in a few days!!!! What a load of crap! I told her that if she didnt help me up to the bathroom that I was going to urinate in the bed and THEN she would have to clean the bed and me! --- with that she got an ugly look on her face and helped me up.

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Marvin 5 years, 9 months ago

This was a few years ago, and i have sense had a child, and when my infant son was running a fever and had a seizure, i rushed him an hour away to steamboat's hospital. I felt ( and knew 100%) that driving him all that way was LESS risky than driving two blocks to the local hospital. Uppon arriving there I spoke to another couple in the waiting room with their baby who were from hayden, and they too, would rather go to thew hospital farther away than to go to craig's. Even the ER physicians said that ALOT of people that come to the er in steamboat, because the craig hospital cant do their jobs! And as to the new hospital THAT YOU, ME, AND US ALL ARE PAYING FOR: YOu can put a BIG SHINY BOW, and dump some glitter on a cow pattie, but underneath it all it is STILL a big pile of you know what!

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David Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry you had to go through that Marvin, treatment like that is unacceptable. Maybe you should call the hospital and give out some names, generalizing the entire hospital for the faults of a few are unfair to those of us who do care. Maybe if the offending individuals were identified and dealt with, we would not have to go through all of this mud slinging, 180 of us cannot be lumped into one group of non-caring individuals.

I still feel that people are unnecessarily risking their lives, or the life of another, by driving to Steamboat. Nothing against Steamboat, they are a just hospital, just like we are, and they deal with the same type of problems as we do. Taking a chance and driving someone 50 miles is being selfish and is a risk of paramount proportions, I would never do that despite what I thought of the hospital. Would you have done that if your child was having breathing difficulties? Would you be able to live with your decision to by-pass TMH if your child had stopped breathing and died on the way to Steamboat? That is a very real scenario and does not reflect on your childs problem, I used it as an example. I'm not trying to pry, create guilt or troll for business, I am trying to get people to think about their actions and the consequences that might follow, consequences nobody needs to face unnecessarily. In the wintertime it can be over an hour and a half to get there, by that time the "golden hour" is lost and it may prove difficult to turn things around. I am happy nothing happened to you or your child on the way, others have not been so lucky. Thank you for your input Marvin.

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rockstar 5 years, 9 months ago

Marvin:

You said your experience was several years ago.

The staff may not even be the same and many of the doctors are absolutely not the same.

I agree - one bad healthcare experience can certainly taint a person's viewpoint of a hospital.

But as community members and taxpayers contributing to this project, I think we either need to give them another chance or stop complaining about things that happened in the past. The current staff can't do anything about yesterday ... only today and tomorrow.

Everyone can change. I have read what David Moore wrote and I think we owe it to ourselves and to the staff at TMH to let them put their money where their mouth is.

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Craig_gal 5 years, 9 months ago

uh oh David. I am very PRO Craig Hospital and all of the staff that I have had to deal with (minus one or two) is quite amazing! You start off good in your comments but than you add way too much information. Most people do not want to drive that extra 50 miles to another county but for some reason they feel compelled to do just that. Please address those issues and leave OUT the potential dangers and all of the other potential B.S. do not--DO NOT put blame on someone driving that distance and risking something happening! Those unkind words in themselves are putting your good intentions into a negative light. Remember, you started out good you just went on way too long. Keep your comments to only the issue and maybe people will see the hospital and staff in a very caring and compassionate way., Keep up the good work TMH!!!!

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Marvin 5 years, 9 months ago

unfortunently i know many poeple who feel it to be more of a risk to go to the craig hospital rather than steamboat springs hospital. And it is unfortunate that myself and others feel the risk of travel is worth it to get QUALITY CARE. I know that when we get into hayden, if you call for an abulance they will take you to steamboat.. And yes, i realize that the staff has changed since my experience, but I am curious if those in 'command' that let that level of patient care be exceptable, are still in charge. because afterall, you can change the staff all you want, but If no one is held accountable when mistakes are made, then boundries and guidelines are more easily crossed. My final point is, that confidence in the memorial hospital will be restored when the care administered there has improved, and people can walk out of there satisfied with their treatment, and not writing letters to the editor. this conversation, no matter the disagreements, is a valuable tool to usher in change, and now we are talking about this issue, and thats a great stepping stone for the hospital to improve. Much thanks for the reply davidmoore, but i'll believe the hospital is fine and dandy when I see it first hand, which I hope I dont have to anytime soon :)

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