People Make All the Difference in Care at Beebe
By Douglas Cassel and David Szumski
While on vacation in the Rehoboth Beach area, Douglas Cassel became ill. His insurer referred him to Beebe Healthcare. “I woke up that morning and my lips were swollen like a supermodel’s. My spouse, Paul, looked at me and said, ‘Who are you?’ I didn’t look like myself at all! My ankle was also swollen and I couldn’t walk. I wasn’t sure if I should go to the ER or Walk In, so I called the advice nurse from my insurance company and asked, they told me to go directly to the ER. Paul was really upset. He got a valet cart and wheeled me downstairs and drove me to the Emergency Department at Beebe in Lewes.
“The triage nurse, Gail Field, was really kind and saw me right away. She took me to the Pivot Area and the first thing they did was put a warm blanket on me. Paul and I are so acclimated to Florida weather; that warm blanket was really comforting. A whole team of people then surrounded me and started evaluating my condition and ordering tests. Everyone was so sweet, so attentive. The nurse who started my IV was spectacular; I didn’t feel a thing.
“I then moved to another part of the Emergency Department and met Andrew Hayden, RN, who monitored me while they waited for the results of the tests and lab work. The way that everyone cared for me, I had a sense that I was being treated like I was a member of someone’s family. I mention this because Paul had a foot surgery at a hospital in California and he was treated like a number. We had difficulty finding a doctor or a nurse when we had a question. At Beebe, everyone who came into my room always asked what they could do to help me. When the results of my tests and lab work came back they told me I was going to have to stay. I told them, ‘I can’t stay, I am having a party at my house for the July Fourth fireworks!’
“I was admitted, to the third floor, where I met Maddie Garrett, RN, and Lauren Fleetwood, CNA. They were so kind and so concerned about me. They tried to do everything they could to make me comfortable, and insisted that I not get out of the bed for fear that I would fall. The bed was filled with air and it was so comfortable. It reminded me of a waterbed and I thought, ‘Wow, I remember these from the 70’s. Who brought these back?’
“The status board in front of my bed was so very helpful. I was so excited on the day I thought I was going to be discharged. But then my doctor broke the news, ‘You’re going to stay another day Mr. Cassel. We don’t want you to leave and possibly relapse. What can we do to make it better?’
“I remember when Linda Wagner from Nutrition Services came in and said to me, ‘Mr. Cassel, you are on a regular diet. You can have whatever you like. Today’s Wednesday, it’s meatloaf night.’ I shared with Linda that I was in the Navy and how much I loved good meatloaf.
“As we got to know each other, I learned that Linda also served in the Navy. We shared stories and realized that we crossed paths in Diego Garcia, an 11 mile long island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. What a small world!
“The meatloaf on Wednesdays should be Michelin rated. Linda talked about the team in the kitchen and how much they wanted to make this part of their patient’s experience the best it could be, and, they offered Paul food too! When he would visit me the hostesses would ask Paul, ‘Would you like anything to eat?’ I loved the food!
“Martha Daniels came in from Housekeeping and she was such a good listener. I was getting a little antsy and she was just so real and reassuring. I remember Martha telling me, ‘I am going to do everything I can to make you feel like you do when you’re at home.’
“The doctor who saw me in the hospital, Dr. Karine Karapetyan, listened so carefully to everything I said. I was very concerned that this was somehow related to my blood sugar being a little high and part of a pre-diabetic condition. She really heard me and ordered a test to rule it out right away. Dr. Karapetyan was so good about listening and alleviating my fears.
“Beebe was such a different experience than what I have felt at other hospitals. One after the other, everyone who came into my room to do anything, they were all so very nice and such sweet people! Everyone at Beebe – everyone – gave me great care with genuine compassion and empathy.”
For more information about Beebe Healthcare’s Values and how Beebe team members live our values every day, go to www.beebehealthcare.org/our-values. For more information about Beebe’s Celebrate Excellent Care program and how you can support Beebe Healthcare, the local non-profit community healthcare system, contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at (302) 644-2900.
Photo Caption (L-R): Martha Daniels, Environmental Services; Grateful Patient Douglas Cassel and Paul Dalmon; Linda Wagner, Nutrition Services; nurses Maddie Garrett, RN and Lauren Fleetwood, CNA.