While viral pneumonia sidelined me at Punta Gorda's Charlotte Regional Medical Center for a week, I had the chance to watch the staff in action. And I realized the folks who make up this amazing group of professionals are a team in every sense of the word.
Day after day - and night after night - I saw the staff's level of focus increase to meet some unexpected event. But, thanks to smooth interaction and well-practiced checks and balances, the situation was always quickly resolved.
During my stay, I came to know fascinating folks on every level of the hospital's staff. Though many are long-time members of the local community, I was impressed by the numbers of medical professionals who have come to this special facility from across the globe.
One of my favorite nurses, Rosie, is a good example of the CRMC team's international flavor. This beautiful Jamaican woman with the lilting, musical accent has been a key member of the nighttime nursing staff for years. As she moves with grace and ease through her rounds, the deep compassion and reassuring smile she shares with her patients always made me feel I'd had a visit from Mother Earth.
Another long-time staff member who joined this experienced team from the Erie, Pa., area is Carol. For many years, this quietly efficient lady was the administrator of the Shiner' Hospital in Erie. After retirement, she made her way to Punta Gorda and decided to rejoin the medical scene. She's now one of the important group which keeps the cardiac telemetry monitors functioning smoothly around the clock.
Wayne, a member of the hospital's phlebotomy team, is a tall, distinguished and efficient gentleman who has an amazing knack for drawing blood with as little difficulty as possible for himself and his patients. But, as good as he is at his current job, Wayne is a man focused on the future.
During his off-duty hours, Wayne is currently training at Everglades University with the goal of becoming an airline pilot. With his determination and confident bearing, this motivated young man will be a commanding presence as an airline captain.
Another of the nighttime RN's is a little package of energy named Zenni. Many years ago, this petit nurse brought her young son to this country from the Philippines to build a better life. Her enthusiasm for her work is obvious as she goes about her duties, sharing her love, respect and encouragement with all she touches.
Chris, a Patient Care Advocate, is a big bear of a man. In high school he developed an interest in the healing arts. That interest led him into the service where he served as a medic in Desert Storm. And now, as he moves along the halls of CRMC, he continues his life-ling dedication to caring for others. Chris seems to sense a patient's needs before he's asked. And, with that instant understanding, he puts those around him immediately at ease.
Among the very special people I met during my stay, one young lady will forever stand out.
Kaylie, whose parents are both medical professionals, comes from a long line of folks who have worked in the field through the years. That might be why she is so intuitively connected to the patients she serves. This energetic and pretty young lady is a Patient Care Advocate, charged with keeping her patients as comfortable as possible.
Kaylie is never content to simply fulfill a request. Instead, she manages to think beyond what was asked and bring unexpected bonuses to the delight of her patients. And, her habit of coming in early and leaving late insures her patients have everything to enhance their comfort.
A native of Charlotte County, Kaylie is just one of the many locals who, along with folks from across the country and around the world, have forged a unique team at Charlotte Regional Medical Center.
For their excellent care and the healing it brought me, I will be forever grateful.