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Proud Of Our Hospital — By Tommy Purser

You can call it a bad luck moment or a moment of monumental stupidity. I prefer the latter call.
It was stupid.
In my old age I have so come to enjoy woodworking. I’m not good at it, you understand, but I’m improving with every project, learning with every project, absorbing years of experience from more proficient woodworkers who share their craft on Youtube, in woodworking magazines, at in-person woodworking demonstrations …. there are so many opportunities to learn. And, as a general rule, woodworkers are eager to share their expertise.
Most sharers begin their sharing by emphasizing the need for safety. Tips I adhere to most of the time. Last Tuesday, an hour before the county commission meeting I was supposed to cover to keep readers informed about what their commission is doing, I had a momentary brain hiccup. I ignored a key safety tip I had learned and wound up at the Jeff Davis Hospital Emergency Room with a right index finger that was basically cut in half lengthwise. When I held up my hand to view the damage, half of my finger drooped down like an almost but not quite cut through slab of bologna, hanging by an oh-so-thin thread of skin.
I knew immediately that I would not make the commission meeting.
I quickly pieced my finger back together with a dishrag from the kitchen, jumped into my pickup and violated every local speeding law enroute from my home to the hospital.
But this discourse isn’t about my stupidity or my lack of adherence to local speeding laws. Rather it is about the care I received at our local hospital.
I was seen to promptly. Courteously. Caringly. Compassionately. Professionally. Expertly. Efficiently. I have at my disposal many more appropriate words but let’s just stop at that.
Don’t get my wrong, the experience was not pleasant. I left the ER with 16 stitches, a bandage on my finger that swelled it to 3-4 times its normal size, and a weak-kneed walk as a result of pain and realizing how close I had come to losing my finger.
During my visit to the ER, I overheard a radio transmission from an Emergency Medical Service Technician who was transporting a patient to the ER complaining of severe cough and shortness of breath, two of the many symptoms of COVID-19 infection. When the patient arrived, the ER staff rushed to meet her, escorting her to a plastic-sheet-lined portion of the ER for treatment. No one shied away. No one ran afar to avoid infection. Everyone did their job …. because it was the job they were trained to do. The job the rest of us need them to do to keep us safe.
Was it bravery? I wouldn’t describe it that way. I would say it was more dedication. Commitment. Matter-of-factly doing the job the rest of us so desperately need them to do.
I take comfort in the fact we have a good hospital with capable, dedicated nurses, X-ray technicians, admittance folks, doctors … name the job. It’s comfortable.
And for those naysayers who relish in calling our wonderful health care facility a “Bandaid Hospital,” shame on you.
Shame on you.

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