Wednesday, May 27, 2009
What's Working: Thanks to Two Josephs!
My mom recently had knee replacement surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma. Would you believe that my Mom, DURING her hospitalization, dined with fellow patients, got a massage, had fine dining, received a trophy and T-shirt, and played Putt-Putt golf?
Well, believe it.
Mom was admitted into the unique St. Joseph’s program of “Joint Camp.” Located in the circular tower on the 8th floor, all the joint replacement patients were put in the same section. In the center of the circular configuration of hospital rooms and nurse’s stations was physical therapy. Patients had their therapists and coaches right outside their rooms. Mom’s room (the Mt. Adams room which boasted a cool view of Mt. Rainier and the Tacoma Dome) was central on the floor.
Besides the convenience of having services right then and there and less than a stone’s throw away, Joint “Campers” had special events to make their recovery more personable and give them a welcome change of pace and scenery. They got a special buffet lunch and dined with other “Campers.” They had the option of getting a massage (Mom said that was heaven), and had a “special dinner” with a guest. On the 2nd night of their stay, Campers get to invite a special guest to come dine with them. I was the lucky one that got to go! We were served a very nice dinner with salad, roll, entrée, and cheesecake for dessert with cloth napkins and nice silverware. We even got a glass of wine! Of course, the patients opted for sparkling cider (I enjoyed a glass of Merlot). On the last day of Mom’s stay, she played Putt-Putt golf (a fun way for the P/T folks to introduce proper standing/positioning/etc). Mom won the trophy for golfing. And she got a Joint Camp T-shirt that read, “No Pain, No Cane!” The Campers are even offered a celebratory reunion for later down the road when they are healing. Awesome!
And what was even more awesome is my friend and “In Your Neighborhood” fellow blogger. Joseph McGowan (Father Oneal) one of the St. Joseph’s chaplains, came to visit my mom during her stay (thanks again my friend). Mom found Joseph funny, sweet, interesting, and delightful (don’t we all?) and she really enjoyed his visit. Joseph also asked Mom if she’d like a harpist to come play some soothing music for her! Mom even had the option of having someone come into to wash her hair and help her “spruce” up a bit. Wow!
And what else was a wow was the kindness that every staff member showed to my family and I. Whether we were talking to the nurses taking care of my mom, checking out the gift shop, waiting in the surgery waiting room, or eating some yummy food in the deli while Mom slept, we were greeted with kindness and extraordinary customer service and care from paid and volunteer employees alike. Everyone was so gosh darn NICE and welcoming. Mom said it made a huge difference in her recovery. For me, it made me feel great and proud to have such a wonderful and fine institution in our city.
Thanks, St. Joseph’s for your dedicated care to the patients and their families. You are making a difference.