A few days ago I made a visit to our emergency room as a patient. Well, I actually wasn’t the patient, my wife was, but for the first time I got to experience our emergency department while being on the other side of the curtain.

From the moment we sat down at the admitting window, we were treated with the utmost concern and respect. We were quickly checked in, triaged, and brought to our room.

Our nurse Pavil came in quickly, answered our questions, and drew some blood to run some tests. Soon after that, our doctor came in and made us feel comfortable and cared for. He addressed our concerns, answered our questions, and gave us his undivided focus and attention.

Of course, I happened to know all of the staff members since I’ve been a WVMC employee for nearly 6 years now, but we were being treated as community members in need, and I appreciated that. The nurse in me wanted to analyze everything, but I took great comfort knowing that we were being well taken care of and I could focus on being there for my wife.

Fast forward a few hours and she was in a much better place and in a position to head home. We were presented with our discharge instructions and encouraged to call or return if we had any further questions.

Here at WVMC, we have made strides to give our community the best possible emergency care we can. Over the last few years, our emergency department has seen many changes from new leadership to our new fast track set up. We have brought on more expertly trained physicians, nurses, techs, and cnas. We have streamlined our triage process and updated our equipment.

Another great example of this ongoing improvement happened just this week. Nearly a dozen of our emergency room nurses and staff members attended the NW States Trauma Conference. There, our team learned the most up-to-date information of caring for injured patients, including trauma care during the pre-hospital, resuscitative, operative, critical care and recovery phases.

We want our community members to receive the best possible care we can provide, and the only way to do that is to stay up to date with the best information and ensure our staff is well trained, educated, and prepared.

Yes there are going to be times you come to the emergency room and you have to wait, probably longer than you were hoping for, but you have to understand the nature of an emergency department. The emergency department has to prioritize treatments based on immediate need, and often, there is someone there who is critically ill and requiring a great deal of attention and resources. Just know that we truly appreciate your patience and understanding when you come to us for emergency health care.

I realize that we’ve all had emergencies and many experiences in emergency rooms, but I haven’t had too many, and I am pleased to say my emergency room experience exceeded all of my expectations.

So thank you to everyone in the emergency department. I see how hard you all work day in and day out, and I thank you for being there for my wife and I when we needed you.