My partner was admitted for the placement of a G-tube due to his weight loss from a recent diagnosis of esophageal cancer. Both of us were still reeling from this news and now we're taking a "next step" in his care which placed us on the 4th floor of Shoenberg Towers. During our extended stay of a week we encountered many nice and competent individuals and there are two who stand out. This is when we met Megan Bell, RN and Cassie Hogg, RN both of whom usually work on the 7th floor and are scheduled so that they follow one another shift to shift, sort of like a "tag team" which fosters continuity of care. If there was ever a time in our lives that some sort of "continuity" was present this was it.
Both Megan and Cassie have a "quiet calm" about them that rubs off on those around them.
We benefitted from that. They always responded to his needs very timely, were patient as they explained and explained again what was going on, why things were happening to him and how people, processes and interventions were going to help him for the long haul.
They didn't only care for him; I too was in their radar as a primary caregiver. Megan was the first person to teach me how to work with his G-Tube. She offered helpful hints when I felt so inept in just handling the tube, the syringe, the meds and getting the entire process to make sense to me for his benefit. Just the experience of handling unfamiliar equipment had me feeling that I should be more like an octopus with many hands to accomplish a task that was second nature to these ladies. When Cassie came on board I knew she and Megan had talked at length about where both he and I were in our learning curve and his overall progress which wasn't without some setbacks along the way. Their patience, tact and quiet reassurance helped both of us gain confidence and instill calm. Both he and I felt very "connected" to both Cassie and Megan as we knew "they had our back." We shared pet stories and learned about Ruby, Cassie's cat who she thought she had lost as a kitten but was found and returned. We know about Megan, her husband and her career goal as an nurse practitioner. She will be good; not just clinically but because of who she is. These ladies possess love and are willing to give it away.
I know in any business you can teach someone to do a task because first you do this and then you do that. What can be difficult is when you try to instill other qualities such as compassion and the ability to "read" and respond appropriately to your customer base. Some people "get it" and some people never will. Both Cassie and Megan "get it" because that is who they inherently are. We felt a bond with them and they served as our safety net, our parachute for a soft landing in a new territory. Megan even wrote us a note on her last scheduled day on 4th floor and was surprised to see me when I hugged her neck on the 7th floor while doing some laundry as our discharge had been somewhat delayed. We have kept that note and we have read it several times.
You have been blessed to have these ladies on board, they represent you well. I saw the "DAISY Award" pamphlet and so hope that both of these professionals receive the recognition that is their due. We received so many acts of kindness from them and got to know one another on a personal level. We firmly believe that there is no such thing a "coincidence." Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous. Cassie and Megan were no coincidence in our life.
We are continuing "our" course of treatment at Siteman and it is evident to us that you have a very strong customer service program that makes what brings all of us to you easier. Thank you for investing the time, money and energy in helping all of us cope. Excellent service isn't making one thing 100% better, it's making 1000's of things 1% better. We and all of us who experience Siteman Cancer Center thank you.