I hope you will enjoy another story about heroes from my hospital days. As you read, keep in mind this happened in a 900-bed hospital. The bigger the hospital, the harder it can be to do the little things for patients.
It was a volunteer that told me about a patient who came into our hospital suddenly and didn’t have time to make arrangements for his dog’s care. The dog had been without food and water for two days and our patient knew the dog would die if he wasn’t cared for soon. The patient lived within five minutes of the hospital.
I called his physician who was immediately supportive of our doing whatever we could to relieve his patient’s concern. He said he didn’t feel there would be any harm if the patient was unhooked from his IV long enough to see about his dog, provided someone from the hospital could drive him there.
A call to Security found them willing to help; they would drive the patient to his house. The patient’s care nurse unhooked his IV and readied him for the short trip home. The security officer went to the floor where the nurse released the patient to him for a quick trip home. With the help of the officer, the patient attended to his dog’s food and water. In little more than 30 minutes, the patient was back in his bed, hooked up again to his IV, and sleeping as sound as a baby.
When I visited him the next day, his eyes glowed like a child’s at Christmas. He just couldn’t believe his doctor and our hospital would do such a kind thing for him. His doctor said it only took his thinking what he would want done for him if he were the patient. As for Security, it was one of the few times they got to be a part of a happy occurrence, and it brought them, for a day at least, to the inner circle of patient care. The nursing staff? Our nurses were the best and always ready to make their patients happy.
So there are several heroes in this story. The doctor is the first — for without his okay, it certainly could not, and would not, have happened. Our Security Department’s director and his transporting officer were heroes for not being afraid to take the risk. An unseen hero was our director of Risk Management who was notified of what we wanted to do and gave her complete support. It was all about a patient and his dog that day.