Two of my cousins are nurses — one an ob-gyn nurse practitioner in the Navy, the other spent 30-plus years in pediatric care (she retired two weeks ago to become a full-time nanny to her first grandchild, lucky little guy!).
Like everyone, they have their share of horror stories about working in a complex environment, one that's made more challenging because they directly impacted the quality of a person’s health and life. But I always enjoy talking to them at family gatherings about those special moments, when they helped the mother through a complicated delivery or offered comfort during a crucial conversation about the well-being of a child. They’re family, so I’m biased, but I know that health care isn’t just a job to them, it’s a passion.
Health care can be a polarizing issue. Payment cuts, patient safety and quality of care concerns, consolidation, workforce issues; the challenges are endless and there’s no shortage of opinions on any front. As exciting as those topics are to cover as a health care journalist, one of my favorite sections in H&HN is our Extra Mile section, which profiles hospital staff who go above and beyond their normal tasks to improve the lives of patients at home and abroad. There’s the security guard who makes every patient feel like a long-lost friend, or the nurse who's working to shield Nigerian orphans from sex trafficking.
“Hospital Heroes is a continuation of the Coalition’s digital outreach effort, which includes social media, to educate the public about the pressures facing hospitals and encourage them to contact Congress on hospitals’ behalf,” a coalition press release states.
There are some great stories on the coalition’s site, from a neurosurgeon to a medical coder. Among my favorites, the post from Sherry Weaver, a brain cancer patient, who nominated the “Radiation Dream Team” at New York Methodist Hospital. “There is not one single person on my radiation dream team I would not house, or feed, or take care of,” she writes.