The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

A Day (or seven) at Great River Medical Center

By Sally Day, The Quill

"Tis the season! Yes, that season, the wonderful world of Christmas! But unfortunately, it is another season, as well. Germ-laden winter! It seems like there are many more illnesses during the winter months than any other time of the year.

I had the misfortune to be a pretty sick gal recently and spent a week in the hospital. Not just any hospital, but the state-of-the-art hospital, Great River Medical Center, or GRMC, in nearby Burlington, Iowa. GRMC opened its doors in the year of the millennium, 2000.

I have spent a few days at the hospital before this month and I have found the hospital and the people to be a little less than one hundred percent. The nursing and doctor staff previously seemed frazzled, tired, and less caring than they did this time.

The first couple of days, I was probably too sick to truly pay attention. By the second or third day, I was absolutely amazed at the wonderful care I was given. The nurses were not only attentive, they were very kind and compassionate. They were very professional at the same time.

And, it was not only the nurses, but every department was gracious, kind and ready to help with anything. When the Dietary/Nutrition staff was in my room, they never failed to ask, "Is there anything I can get you before I leave?" The Housekeeping staff was the same; never failing to ask if they could get anything for you. One day, a Maintenance man entered my room and asked me if he could change a filter of something or other in the ceiling. Of course, I responded, "Yes." The gentleman replaced the filter, descended his ladder and said, "Can I get you anything before I leave?" I was stunned. I almost expected him to produce a pillow or a treat from his tool pouch!

I have never had as good tasting food in a hospital as I did that week. And, I was on a Diabetic/Cardiac diet. I had five different types of fish, each one delicious and moist; never dry. I recommend the salmon!

The medical aspect of the hospital didn't go unnoticed either. I had shots, medications, treatments, blood drawn, ivs started (and utilized), and various other procedures performed on a daily basis. Some of the medications had to be overseen by at least one other nurse and it was always done that way.

I also had "lessons". People entered my room, teaching me how to live better, healthier and (I hope) longer!

Last, but certainly not least, were the new doctors I met. I had three while I was in the hospital. They were all very good; very non-judgmental and I thought, compassionate. All the doctors at the hospital are now in-house. They are referred to as Hospitalists.

Is the hospital perfect? I am certain it is not. Any place where you have people, you have imperfections. There are always mistakes made, but I did not see any. If you have ever had a job, doing anything, you have made a mistake. It happens to everyone!

It seems as if GRMC is constantly evolving, attempting (like we all do) to be at its very best. It is working!

I hope none of you ever have to spend time in a hospital (except for birthing babies!). But, if you do, I highly recommend Great River Medical Center. I honestly do not believe there is a better hospital on the planet!

A special Merry Christmas message to all those doctors, nurses, and staff members who give up their Christmases to assist people having to stay in the hospital on this special holiday!