April 23, 2018

One Year after a Serious Bike Crash, a Thank You to My Caregivers

By Brad Campbell

Last July I was involved in a serious bicycle crash in Transylvania County. The last two things I remember were my rear wheel fishtailing and then a hard hit to the head.

The excellent team from Transylvania County EMS arrived almost immediately, put my neck in a trauma brace and transported me to the Transylvania Regional Hospital, where I was first evaluated by Dr. Cohen and an excellent emergency room staff and then transferred by two dedicated transport professionals to Mission Hospital.

The initial assessment and X-rays turned up a laundry list of injuries. Over the course of the next five days, I came into contact with close to one hundred Mission Hospital employees: doctors, physician assistants, RNs, nurse assistants, transporters, housekeeping, radiology techs, speech therapists, dieticians and many others.

In every instance, they would introduce themselves and then tell me what they were going to be doing for me. And in every instance, without exception, they followed through.

My surgeon, Jon Silver, MD, inspired confidence and trust the moment I met him in the emergency room. He was personable, communicative and reassuring as he ran down my prognosis and the likely surgical path. Amazingly, just a few hours after the five-hour surgery, which ended at 2 am, he was at my bedside letting me know how the surgery had gone. His physician assistant was like an extension of Dr. Silver: engaging, professional and confident in my recovery, which buoyed my spirits.

While on the Trauma floor, my most significant interaction was with my nursing team. They were professional, competent, dedicated, compassionate, positive and became advocates for me.

My nurse assistant shared with me her incredible spirit of caring and warmth. Her personality can be summed up in one word: healer. Like my nurses, her appearance always made me feel better.

A multitude of other Mission Hospital employees came into and out of my neck-braced, limited field of vision, but they all made an impression. Beyond the individual professionals, I was incredibly impressed by the systems Mission Health has put in place to manage patient care and outcomes. Before this, I had never had a serious injury requiring a long hospital stay and I could not get over the coordination that was required across so many disciplines by so many people from the moment of my accident until I was released.

In all honesty, I could not do the job of anyone who works at Mission Health. Not only do they possess an impressive array of skills, they seem to draw on a reservoir of compassion that is bottomless. It was astonishing to watch my nurse leave my room, pivot into the next room and then hear her retain the same energy, the same kindness, the same presence of mind, the same level of professionalism without missing a beat or betraying a hint of frustration or weariness.

In closing, I would just like to say that Mission Hospital is not the sum of its many buildings, its state-of-the-art technology or its endowment. The real value of Mission is its incredible staff. I hope you will always be mindful to treat them as they treated me: with respect, with love, with care and compassion.

Now, nearly a year after my accident, during Patient Experience Week, I want to say thank you again to Mission Health and, most importantly to the caregivers who helped get me back on my feet.

Every patient’s experience with us is unique, but how we create that experience stems from the same sets of values and principles that we practice as part of the Mission Experience.

Patient Experience Week is an annual event to celebrate our team members and the way they impact patient lives every day.