I have been impressed with the Oro Valley Hospital from my beginning association through the Northwest Hospital Advisory Board service. It was strengthened with the new hospital's customer service program attended by all the employees even before it opened, and is continued to date.

I was fortunate to attend a meeting in Dallas a few years back where the guest speaker wondered how hospitals would serve the public if they ran it as Disneyland is operated: totally committed to providing an "experience" rather than just a good time, like most other amusement parks. Recently, I was exposed to an "experience" at the Oro Valley Hospital.

The scheduled angiogram is common and somewhat emotional, except for me at 82 with a long history of heart/cardio problems, and the current disturbances of much more concern to me and my cardiologist., Dr Paul Bejarano.

From the opening greeting by Linda Goucher in the outpatient surgery room of, "welcome, I'm here to make sure your procedure today is comfortable for you" to the undressing, shaving, injections of needles for blood and IV by Ann and Bermie, I was treated with courtesy, humor and caring. Oh yes, my somewhat hairy body was fun for all when they taped me up for the EKG and other parts.

Linda explained and offered me sedation levels of easy, mid-range (napping) and the big one where you won't know a thing. I chose the middle ground to eliminate the coming out of the depths of whatever when awakened and didn't care to hear anything during the procedure. By this time all my trepidation and anxiety feelings were gone. Dr Bejarano came in gave a detailed explanation of the process, and away we went.

Upon awakening, Linda had a bottle of water for me, told me that in 15 minutes I could sit up and she would have a small lunch for me. After lunch, she told me I would be going home (a good sign) at 3:30 and to take my time adjusting to being awake again.

The tasks following were done with the same caring and concern as the pre-op ones. Dr Bejarano came in, and in detail told me the results of the test, but more importantly, expressed his joy in his now knowing everything about my condition, and the enthusiasm and optimism he had to better treat my condition and to get me going full steam ahead in whatever I could and would want to do. Imagine, he felt better and positive for and about me!

At 3:30 I was bundled out to my awaiting ride home, feeling better than I have for years. No, my heart condition is the same, but my trust in the hospital, the doctor and the staff is overwhelming, just because they did give me an experience, not just an examination.


Al Trice is a Catalina resident.

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