As I was mentioning to AsthmaMom , (whose blog I really like), the first rule of etiquette for a severe asthmatic who has just survived a traumatic hospital stay, is to thank those who helped him get through it . For those who held your hand , for those who kept a constant eye on you, for those who tolerated your moodiness and still managed to smile. For the one’s who felt bad when they had to poke you with needles.
During my Hospital stays I have the closest contact with the Nurses and Respiratory Therapists, but I will acknowledge phlybotomists, Xray techs, even the housekeeping staff, if they are kind and courteous to me. I usually send one of those ‘ Thank an Employee ” cards that you find near the elevators or in waiting areas of a hospital. Sometimes I’ll contact the hospital administrator or dept head directly to make sure that the individuals involved receive the recognition they deserve .
At UCSF , they have what they call the “Star Program” .
I’m not sure how it works at other places, but here when you send in these cards, the staff receive these little fabric purple stars that they proudly display on their ID badges. Some of them have so many of these stars , that you can’t read the name on their card.
So why the need to acknowledge my caregivers? They get paid big bucks don’t they ? Do you have any idea of whats it’s like to work as an ICU, licensed practical nurse, or Critical Care nurse or Respiratory Therapist? Have you ever been a patient in an Intensive care unit? I hope you never have to , but if you do , you’ll know why I take the time to do this.
To all those unseen heroes who work behind the locked doors of the Intensive Care Unit or Emergency Room saving lives……Thanks for saving mine!