Letters to the Editor

Whidbey General Hospital’s needs are top priority

While I truly appreciate Mr. Leahy’s letter expressing concern about payroll accuracy at Whidbey General Hospital, I take exception to lining this issue to the hospital bond.

The needs of our community and its hospital require financial accountability, conscientious and hardworking staff at all levels and a viable structure in which to deliver care.

All politics aside, I am a taxpayer and a registered nurse working alongside many other professionals at WGH for more than 20 years. I have seen an explosive expansion of services, technologies and high expectations in health care since arriving here in 1986.

WGH was built to the excellent standards required in 1970. Forty-one years later, our acute care rooms have these same electrical and call light systems, as well as space and ergonomic issues that demand updating to allow patients safe and proper care now.

Our engineering crew deals with any number of “facility issues” that make them in my eyes miracle workers. Nurses, laboratory professionals and respiratory therapists too will attest to the “tight quarters” facing us daily. Two beds, two chairs, bedside tables, commodes and any other equipment needed rapidly fill the space in a room and can make giving care very difficult. Add in family members and the inevitable bodily functions involved, and if you catch my drift, situations can be most awkward and discomforting.

Conversations with physicians need to be private and with just a curtain separating patients become nigh impossible.

Infection control requires frequent sanitation and with more than 40 years of use, floors, ceilings, plumbing fixtures and walls show their age and replacement issues involving asbestos make the work more challenging.

Our patients deserve rooms that allow privacy, comfort, safety, a healing environment welcoming to significant others and efficient ergonomics for their care providers.

The bond issue is not about changing oil, the payroll problems or building an engine. We have dedicated staff daily caring for our community members in a facility that is aging beyond repairability.

Procrastination is not in the best interest of serving the needs or being frugal -- saving a nickel now to spend dollars later.

Please support the hospital with your vote, an investment in our community!

Ellen Giles
Oak Harbor

 

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