Guest editorial: Applauds Phoebe Sumter for performance

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My experience with Sumter County hospitals extends back decades. On an abysmally cold day in December 1949, I was born at the old hospital on Dodson Street in Americus. (I wish it could become useful as a community center, but that is a story for another day). I had other medical procedures done at the hospital on Forsyth Street before it was destroyed by the tornado of 2007. But this week, I had another chance to visit the new Phoebe Sumter Medical Center on the Plains Highway.
As a staff member at Perry Wellness Center, I am responsible for the daily transit of a client/peer from Marion County. Once a client in Columbus, she now has chosen Perry Wellness Center as her preferred campus. As are many of us as we grow older, she was recently slated to receive a colonoscopy. Such an arrangement for a peer was new for me, and I did not know the protocol for this procedure. But with the help of a kind and aware staff member at the center, all of the pre-op schedule and procedure were arranged.
As we entered the lobby of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center on the day of the procedure, we were met with smiles and cheerful comments from each associate as we continued to the second floor. There, the nurses on duty continued with reassuring comments and cheer. As scheduled, my friend reported to her preparation area. There had been a question concerning her blood pressure. The pressure was taken, and I was told that it was in a safe zone for the procedure. So I left my card and asked to be contacted at the completion of the procedure.
Nurse Laura Cheek had met us upon arrival with assurance and hands-on, calming attention to her patient. The procedure was routine, with no discovery of potential distress. No follow-up visits would be required.
Mrs. Cheek assured me that the patient had been pleasant and compliant with all that was requested of her. “I wish all of our surgical patients were so kind and understanding!” she noted.
As we left, Nurse Cheek presented a handwritten note to her discharged patient. It read: “You did great!! God bless you!” The note was signed by Mrs. Cheek and other medical team members.
The client had slept since the procedure and was now eager to leave and visit a local fast food store for a fish sandwich and beverage. More than the food, she wanted a dip of snuff. As we got the food, she did take time to eat half of the sandwich, the fries, and the vanilla milkshake, before she welcomed her first tobacco.
On the drive to north Marion County, the happy patient reminded me of how nice everyone had been to her. Like me, she also had positive comments on the cleanliness of the hospital and her room. As we arrived in her front yard, the now largely awake patient said, “That was a piece of cake! I want to assure any others at Perry Wellness Center in the hours before their operation. That was the hard part,” she concluded with a smile.
I have had several friends and family receive treatment at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. In my visits to them, I have seen the same kind and gracious welcome and service that my client friend and I recently received. To the entire staff at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, I would like to re-send the note given to my friend: “You did great! God bless you!”
— Mulkey McMichael, Buena Vista