I was treated like a Five Star Admiral... really.
This past year, I was an in-patient at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). I had a serious kidney infection and kidney stones, a painful experience which I had previusly undergone as a teenager, and which had kept me out of nuclear submarine service (but I ended up underwater, anyway!).
This "article" is actually a "Thank You" and a tribute to all the fine people who make the Miami VAMC what is is... on a par with any (yes, I said any) hospital in our nation.
I drove myself to the Emergency Room on a Saturday night and, from the time I entered, I knew I was in the care of the very best. I do not say this lightly, as I have been wounded and through cancer and in a serious motorcycle crash... just three of my many medical travails in life. I have been through a lot of medical treatment.
After preliminary testing and diagnosis, I was transferred to my room in Section 12-AB. That's where the treatment began. I spent seven days there, in the hands of consummate professionals. From the "old hand" staff medical personnel, to the young doctors graduating the University of Miami Medical School, and doing their required residency, everyone was not only introspective and analytical, but showed a high degree of caring, the importance of which cannot be overstated, given the state of our modern American society, where too many people are treated like disposable cigarette lighters.
I didn't have to wait longer than ten seconds from the time I pressed the Nurse Call button, to hear a voice, asking me what I needed. Then the personal response came very quickly after that. From the housekeeping crew to the medical technicians to the nursing staff, everyone had a smile on their face, a can-do attitude, and showed genuine concern for my comfort and treatment. Professionals, every last one. I felt like a 5 Star Admiral.
I will end this by saying that many medical establishments across this nation could do well to send observers to the Miami VAMC to see what professional and compassionate medical care is really all about. And that includes major hospitals across my south Florida community. They would learn a lot. I imagine that learning experience would embarrass many of them, as they realize some deplorable shortcomings of their own health care systems (my late mother having fallen victim to the incompetent care of one of those major hospitals, in Miami Beach, from which I had to surreptitiously obtain her records, which proved their medical culpability).
And so, Miami VAMC, this veteran not only salutes you, but will continue to spread the word that somewhere -- specifically, at your facility -- medical professionalism and real compassion is an ongoing daily way of doing things, not just empty words. Thank you...!!!