This is a letter to the Lithgow community and some of your will not be surprised at all with its content.
We all enjoy and probably take for granted the nurses and doctors that serve our communities in the Emergency Department at Lithgow Hospital.
Here is my story, now that it is in the past I can speak more freely of it.
A life threatening emergency situation had unfolded as I was driving home from a hospital visit to my nearest and dearest. I was telephoned just as I walked in my door and asked to return to Lithgow Hospital.
I was met by the Nurse Manager who explained the emergency which had arisen, the life saving treatment which had already taken place and what I would be seeing in Emergency. I had that nurse by my side explaining what was happening and going to happen. Even though her shift was ending she stayed on with me through a most alarming and confronting experience.
This emergency situation was being handled by a seemingly unflappable team of expert nurses and doctors in the emergency ward. I found it hard to believe so much was being done by so many yet the precision of movement and calmness that prevailed from this team of professionals had a calming effect on m and nearest and dearest who was bring prepares to be medically evacuated by helicopter to a Sydney Hospital.
The air ambulance doctor and paramedic arrived and proceeded to check all that had been done to ensure the patient would have a safe journey. There was a wait until a suitable bed was found and the OK was given to go. Everyone in emergency was so calm, smiling knowing their best had been given - my goodness how exhausted they must have felt but no one left until their patient was wheeled to the helicopter even though their shifts had finished.
Two nurse managers walked with me to see the helicopter lift off, then once that it was on its was the conversation turned to my welfare. These two nurses began advising me of what I should do next. I had no will to fight against about 90 years of nursing experience so I found myself heading home at about 1am to tidy up, make phone calls, pack a bag, rest, then return to Lithgow Hospital. When I returned to Lithgow Hospital there was the nurse manager from the night shift, refreshened, ready to accompany me to Sydney because she knew the hospital, knew the way and thought I should not drive this alone.
That nurse, whomI had not met before the previous night, stayed with me until I had visited my nearest and dearest, eaten and booked on-site accommodation The next thing she offered was to drive mt vehicle home so that would be one less thing for me to worry about. Rest assured Lithgow nurses are streets ahead when it comes to personal kindness and thoughtfulness. The Sydney nurses said I was a very, very, lucky lady to have an off-duty nurse manager do so much, they had no ever heard of such a thing like that happening.
I cannot name the doctors and nurses involved on that night and following day but we can all rest easy knowing they are there. One nurse said in a most unassuming manner "this is what we do".
Thank you to Lithgow Hospital, your Emergency Department professionals certainly are life savers.
- Margaret Clunne