Patient Testimonial (Scott Almond)
Tim Smith, CEO Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA
Susan Stone, CNO Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA
1. Key Players: Ramin Raiszadeh MD, Thomas Terramani MD, Beth Amarai MD, Chris Cary MD
2. Ancillary Players: Admissions, Pre-op, PACU, Nursing, Physical Therapy, House Keeping, Food Services
Due to a traumatic injury to my back thirty five years ago, I was now at the point in my life where I could no longer brush aside the pain and associated symptoms. I was finally succumbing to the numbness, burning, difficulty ambulating, and difficulty with activities of daily living.
It became glaringly apparent that something had to be done. Knowing that surgery would likely be my only effective form of treatment, I did mot research and decided upon the right man for the job, Dr. Ramin Raiszadeh. His background and surgical record speak for themselves.
Living sixty miles from San Diego, my primary care physician was someone local. So the first thing I had to do was change my primary care physician and make it someone in the same medical group as the surgeon I chose, so I could get my necessary referral. This I did and then started making arrangements to have my very needed surgery. I have been an employee at Alvarado hospital for the past five years, so I know everyone there, and felt peace and comfort having my surgery there with friends and family.
I did not find out that my surgery was being scheduled at Sharp Memorial Hospital until three days before the scheduled surgery when the representative of the hospital called me and delivered the most shocking news I could have heard, that my surgery was to be done at Sharp. I immediately contacted my CNO and CEO to figure out why in the heck it wasn’t being done at my hospital. I am neither a politician nor an insurance agent, what I am is a critical care nurse of twenty seven years working ICU, CCU, CVICCU, and ER. So my comfort zone and secure feeling went right out the window and I was scared. I verbalized my fear and frustration with my hospital’s CEO and CNO.
The two of them were so wonderful, and went above and beyond to help m e get my surgery rescheduled at the hospital I know and love; so I could be cared for by nursing staff that re like family to me. After my surgery was blocked and all options exhausted I was in complete despair. I came to the realization that it didn’t matter where I worked or what I wanted, insurance and politics were in complete control. I figured that my surgery would be put off until sometime in January, due to the need to coordinate a surgical team with all different schedules. To my amazement, just a few hours later, my surgeon called to tell me he was able to put it all together and my surgery would be done tomorrow. Hungry (NPO since Sunday, scared of the unknown (not all hospitals and not all nurses are created equal), I packed my bags and came to your hospital.
I couldn’t have been happier, to my most pleasant surprise, Sharp Memorial Hospital is gorgeous! Every single employee that I encountered was smiling and helpful. Nurses were competent, professional and treated me with the highest quality of care. My room was spotless and state of the art, from the remote controlled window blinds to the keyboard and computer attached to my bed and wide screen HDTV to go with, I though I had died and gone to heaven.
Seven hours after my surgery, Physical Therapy came in my room to assess my need to PT and level of safety. I proceeded without help of any kind to get completely dressed and ready to go for a walk. I walked three laps around the sixth floor and then saw a sign above the door “Stairs”. I told my PT” lets go girl!” She was quick to jump in front of me and in the most pleasant voice she said “no, no, no not today, maybe tomorrow.” Being stubborn and bullheaded, I said “Yes honey girl, I can do this, “ and I opened the door and took off. She had no choice but to follow. I proceeded to carefully walk down six flights of stairs. My PT said “OMG, you are Superman, now lets take the elevator back.” Once again I was stubborn and bullheaded, (not my fault, I am from Florida) and I power walked the six flights back up like a man on a mission. No one could believe it. I am not your typical patient!
I trained as hard for the six weeks prior to surgery as I do before triathlons. Except for my lumbar spine, I was in the best shape of my life. Dr. Raiszadeh arrived two hours later, and between nursing and PT, he got the report of a lifetime. I am not capable of taking any narcotics due to associated intractable nausea and vomiting. The only medication I was to receive was an antibiotic, I can take a pill. I was going to hurt whether I was at the hospital or at home.
At home we have an electric, fully reclining couch and love seat with lumbar support, I had all ready proven myself strong, steady, and free from fall risk or injury with PT. I live sixty miles away from Sharp Memorial Hospital, and most of my friends and family live where I do. My wife and I have a beautiful home with three great danes. She was going to drive the sixty miles there and back everyday even though she had work, house, and dogs to contend with. I asked Dr. Raiszadeh, “being of sound mind, strong body, and twenty seven years of critical care nursing experience, can I go home?” He could not argue with my rationale. Knowing and working with me for the past five years he was in complete trust that I would do everything right and follow post-surgical protocol precisely, and wrote my discharge instructions. Even though my stay was short, I was impressed beyond words with every aspect of my hospitalization. Your hospital and staff are amazing. Everyone was pleasant and polite, and said how much they enjoyed working there when I asked. I can’t help but think “what a great place to work.” I cannot thank everyone enough. God bless you all.
Check Out Scott Almond’s video testimonial on youtube!