Saturday, January 16, 2010

Au revoir MMH

With a twinge of sadness I turn over the calendar leaf to Saturday the sixteenth of January 2010, ending my one month-turned –to-one -year assignment as a locum CRNA at Massena Memorial Hospital.
After 34 years of serving my hometown (Ogdensburg) community hospital, I embarked on the path of a traveling anesthetist. Serendipity (and Staff Care) placed me just 47 miles east of my home; in Massena, NY. This was a perfect assignment for my transition from the fragile security of a full time employee to the on- your- own world of Locum tenens (A healthcare provider who is serving as a temporary relief or substitute).
From the first moment that I stepped foot in the hospital there in Massena, I was welcomed and treated like family. To be fair, my brother, a MMH employee, had just recently transferred to the dialysis unit after having served in the OR/endo unit of the hospital. And that certainly paved the way for me to some extent. In addition, a friend and co-worker from my former employer was also doing a week of locum relief in the OR at Massena Hospital at the same time I was starting, further easing my initial trepidation that is natural when starting a new job. No matter how comfortable you may be with your skill level, starting a new job brings with it a normal increase in nervousness. By the end of the first day I knew I was in the right place!
This essay, then, is my thank you letter to my family at Massena Memorial Hospital. And truly a family it is, for it’s not just a building but a group of people who are warm, generous and caring. The high morale at MMH reflects well on its leaders: Charlie Fahd II, Sue Beaulieu, Mark Brouillette, Jonnie Dorothy, and others I’ve yet to meet.

I know I’m going to omit some folk’s names and by no means is that intentional. I want to mention all the people who helped make my stay rewarding. Thursday I was sitting in the ASU and making a list of people’s names who made a positive impact on me, and soon I had over 60 names and knew I’d inadvertently forgotten some, for you see every single person I met whether it be walking in the corridors or in each department, every single person I met extended a smile and a Hi, hello, good morning, how are ya etc., and etc. Every single person contributed to giving me back my joi de vivre. It had been awhile since I looked forward to going to work every day.

It’s my habit to get to work early; usually 45 minutes or so. It gives me time to collect my thoughts and get mentally prepared for my day. I get changed into OR scrubs check the schedule for my assignment, and then go down to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee (1 free cup a day to employees.) Back in the OR break room while sipping my coffee I usually do the daily newspaper crossword puzzle, (gets the intellect revved up.) And then go into the OR to set up my equipment and medications for my first case.

In no particular order, the people at MMH who I’m happy to say made me smile everyday!

On one Monday morning shortly after starting work a MMH I went down to the cafeteria for coffee. There at the coffee counter was a tall young lady, who, when she saw me said with a big smile: “Good morning. That was a nice article you had in the paper yesterday about CRNA Week.” “Thank you”, I said, and good morning to you. What’s your name?” “Katie Helmer” she said. Out of the kindness of her heart, Katie Helmer took the time to compliment the new guy. I was impressed.

Massena Memorial Hospital

Quality Inn Massena, NY. My home away from home when I was on call.

The list is long and will require at least one more post, maybe even two. I want to introduce you to the family at MMH who adopted me with open arms.................................
to be continued:



Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

It sounds like a wonderful place to work, Rel. I'm sure all of them are going to miss you just as much.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Sorry you have to leave such a great place. Now, on to new adventures...

12:24 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh Bob, again your writting bring tears to my eyes as I know how much I miss you and enjoyed working with you. I wish you all the best my friend in your new endeavor.The patients you serve are so very lucky to have you as their CRNA.

8:25 PM  

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