I “Danced My Way” Right into Beebe’s Emergency Department
By Carol A. Dennis
I danced my way right into Beebe’s Emergency Department. Well not exactly, but pretty close. It was a beautiful evening in April and we were dining with friends at one of our favorite restaurants. We had invited old friends down from Baltimore to join us as well as new friends from Lewes. We were having a wonderful time eating, laughing, dancing, and telling stories as friends do when they get together. The night life in Rehoboth and Lewes is one of the things we have enjoyed most since moving to the area two years ago from Baltimore.
As the night came to a close, I decided to dance just one last dance to call it a night. It was a fast swing dance, one of my favorites, but unfortunately my feet could not keep up with the music. I twirled and twirled again, and then all of a sudden I found myself on the floor with five or six people hovering over me and all around me, trying to help me and asking how I was.
How I was: embarrassed, and in pain. My left wrist had taken the brunt of the fall and I was sure it was broken. My “entourage” helped me up and back to our table. I was so humiliated, but the pain was so great I didn’t much care. There was a large bag of ice waiting at the table. After sitting there for just a few minutes in excruciating pain, I didn’t argue when my friends insisted we head to Beebe’s Emergency Department.
And here is where my story really begins. As a volunteer for the Beebe Medical Foundation, I have written many stories highlighting the excellent care that patients receive at Beebe Healthcare. Stories about patients whose lives have been saved by the quick thinking doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department. Stories about doctors who go beyond caring and compassionate behavior to care for their patients. Amazing comeback stories of athletes with serious injuries. Stories about extraordinary teamwork and stories about the truly dedicated staff members in every department at Beebe.
But this story is about me. It’s about my experience and the incredible care I received at the Beebe Emergency Department in Lewes on that Saturday night.
When we pulled into the Emergency Department parking lot, I saw two ambulances at the door. I made a mental note that it was probably going to be a long night. I knew it was likely there were more seriously injured patients waiting to be seen. My wrist was sore but I was happy to wait my turn. The thing about the Emergency Department at Beebe is that you never feel like you’re forgotten.
It took just a few minutes to be registered and triaged, and then I was in a room. Everyone was so friendly, caring, and attentive. The registrar heard me say that I was feeling a little faint and immediately had me in a wheelchair. The triage nurse was so gentle with me, apologizing for having to take my blood pressure on the affected arm and telling me how sorry she was that I was in such pain. Once I was in a room, a Physician Assistant, Eric Harris, saw me and immediately ordered an X-ray. Shortly afterward, the technician came to my room to do the test and handled my arm with extreme precision and caution.
When the X-ray results came back, Eric reported to me that it did not show a break! Wow! Good news? Why was I in so much pain if it wasn’t broken? I was surprised, and Eric was baffled. It was clear he was not giving up. As busy as they were, he was not sending me home. Eric said, “I’d like to do a CAT scan, just to be sure.” He went on to tell me that it would probably take a little while because they were so backed up. I already knew that from observing how busy they were, and was quite willing to wait.
Within the hour, the CAT scan was completed. “It is a broken bone,” I heard a voice from the doorway say. Before I knew it Eric and my nurses, Hanna Adams and Lauren Burkhardt, were bustling around the room preparing to do something; I wasn’t sure what at this point. By this time our friends from the restaurant had arrived to sit with us. We were all asking a lot of questions. Where is it broken? Does it require surgery? Will I need a cast? How long will I have to wear it? Will I be able to move my fingers? Eric, Hanna and Lauren were answering all of our questions with great patience and respect. They demonstrated how the cast would be formed to my arm. It was an educational session for all of us.
Within just a few minutes my arm was in a temporary cast and Lauren was demonstrating how to insert my arm in the sling and secure it to my body. Eric returned soon thereafter, instructing me to see my orthopedist as soon as possible.
“Well, I think we’re ready to go home,” I said. It was late and I was tired and in pain. My time in the Emergency Department had gone quickly and efficiently. “No more dancing for a while,” I heard someone say as we walked towards the door. I smiled a little and quickly agreed!
Since moving to the area from Baltimore in 2016, my family has had to visit Beebe’s Emergency Department for one reason or another at least five or six times. Each time, the experience has been extraordinary. The staff is a special group of people, and the way they interact with their patients truly sets them apart. You feel like you are a member of their family! That night was an extremely busy night for them, but I never for a minute felt rushed, ignored, or forgotten. Thank you to the Beebe Emergency Department staff for making me feel so special. For all of the reasons mentioned above, I want to acknowledge the Emergency Department staff through Beebe’s Celebrate Excellent Care Program.
To celebrate the Emergency Department’s excellent care, I hope you will join me and many others at the Fourth Annual Beebe Beach Bash on Saturday, June 2 at the Cape-May Lewes Ferry, Lewes Ferry Terminal. This party will once again go down as the biggest party of the summer with dancing, dining, auctions, and more. But even more importantly, the Beebe Beach Bash raises funds for the Emergency Department in Lewes and for the construction of a new Emergency Department in Millville. Please join us on June 2 to help provide for excellent emergency care in our community. Tickets can be purchased online at www.beebemedicalfoundation.org/beebe-beach-bash or by calling Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900.
Photo Caption: Celebrating Beebe’s Emergency Department Team, pictured left to right: Susan Mross, RN; Director of Patient Care Services, Loretta Ostroski, RN; Emergency Department Nurse Manager, Sue Ann Newsham, RN; Grateful Patient and Beebe Medical Foundation volunteer, Carol A. Dennis; Lauren Burkhardt, RN; George Austin, RN; and Night Shift Charge Nurse, Lisa Temple, RN.