Letters to the Editor

Letter: WGH is much more than first-aid station


As a registered nurse for 27 years and an emergency room nurse for 20, I take offense to the frequently read and heard statement that Whidbey General Hospital is a “first-aid station.”

I was employed by Whidbey General for 11 years, exclusively in the Emergency Department. Unfortunately, I suffered a work injury and, sadly, was terminated a couple months ago after I exhausted my FMLA.

I had worked in big city hospitals my whole career and found rural nursing more exciting and challenging than at a Level I facility. Unlike the mainland, we often do not have the necessary resources available. However, I never worked with a physician-nursing team as competent as the one currently at Whidbey General.

WGH, as in any hospital ER, sees many clinic-type patients. However, when the traumas, strokes, heart attacks and other potentially life-threatening situations arrive, WGH is able to treat, stabilize and transfer, if necessary, any member of our community to the appropriate “higher-level of care” facility.

Imagine your life if WGH is not here when you need them. Traveling off island means a delay in treatment and it could cost you your life.

Bottom line — Whidbey General Hospital saves lives.

If you have ever been a patient in any hospital with double rooms, you know how difficult that can be. Sharing a room with a stranger deprives you of your privacy, ability to rest when you need it, and let’s not even get into the single TV and your roommates’ visitors.

It’s like having to share your hotel room with a stranger while you’re sicker than a dog.

If you have never seen WGH’s 210-square-foot double patient rooms, perhaps the hospital would be willing to post some pictures of them.

Whidbey General Hospital’s administrative politics aside, single-patient rooms are the standard for 21st century health care and will probably be government mandated in the near future.

Patricia Nathan-Ulloa



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