I know there is a health-care crisis in the province, country and world, but I can only speak to my backyard.
Emergency rooms in small communities near Kamloops are closing and opening on a regular basis.
There are staff shortages and not enough doctors to service our community. Royal Inland Hospital’s emergency department is carrying the additional burden of these shortages.
Last month, I supported both a friend and family member at the RIH emergency department. They both had serious medical issues.
I spent seven hours waiting with many other people. I expected this. It looked like chaos as I watched how service and support were provided.
I began to see a system and order with the staff. Nurses, doctors, care-aides, admitting staff and nursing students all had a role to play with assigned patients.
There were beds and wheelchairs and equipment blocking hallways. In those seven hours, my family member and friend completed bloodwork, X-rays, CT scans and discussions with doctors and nurses.
The ultimate goal was diagnosis and treatment and these professionals did their jobs with empathy and respect at all times.
My friend remained in the hospital and family member had surgery that day.
Medical service and support has changed. I believe hospital staff have adapted their service as best they can.
I saw an emergency department for which I am grateful. Perhaps it is time to shift our thinking and attitude. This is the new reality.
It is not perfect, but it works.