Hospitals are grounds for hope

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Over the past 17-plus years I have either been treated personally at local hospitals or have had family members and friends end up in the clinic, emergency room or hospital.

And, over these past 17 years, I have talked to members of our community and many of you about our experiences at the different hospitals. Many of you have even sent me an email over the past few years sharing your experiences.

Based on my own firsthand experiences with family and friends and all of the unsolicited feedback I have received, I am happy to report that the teams at our local hospitals are doing an incredible job in caring for patients. With some bad press surrounding hospitals and doctors and the recognized brokenness with some of the elements of the health-care system, we have been truly blessed with some of the most talented, caring, and compassionate doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff in health care. And as a resident, their performance gives me hope for health care.

Even the volunteers at our hospitals seem to go out of their way to make sure patients and family are taken care of. And that is awesome and speaks to the culture of the hospitals and vision of the leadership teams.

Having had to deal with a very significant health-care issue in my life recently, unfortunately I have found myself spending more and more time in hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics as the primary caregiver for my wife. I am reminded each day and during each visit just how hard our health-care professionals work and how their amazing gifts of caring and compassion are tested multiple times per day.

Sometimes they deal with simple illnesses, broken bones or sprains, and sometimes trauma and much more serious situations, including life-threatening conditions or injuries. And as I watch everyone from the EMTs bringing patients in, or the staff caring for the patient, I am simply in awe of the level of sincerity, love and technical ability of those I observe.

Conversely, just as in any service-oriented business, I see the patients or family members of the patients become disruptive, abusive, belligerent and impatient as they bark out demands and treat their potential caregivers with complete disregard for the genuine effort of care being given. These same patients and family members do not understand how others observe their behavior and how damaging it is for the health and well-being of the patients who are there to get better. Not to mention how it impacts the morale of the clinic, the staff, or the other patients and families.

If we are to have hope for health care, I would ask that instead of pointing the finger of blame at how “broken” health care is regarding insurance, access to information, and patient care, that we begin by building a winning and positive relationship with the people who are immediately in front of us, our nurses, doctors, technicians and support staff. Together we can focus on the patient, focus on the care needed, and work towards the best outcome possible.

Kudos to these hospitals for being such a great place for all of those who find themselves needing care. They are wonderful institutions with amazing patients and families from our community and incredible staff and leadership, working together and providing hope for healthcare.

I know some will have their stories of success and others will share their challenges, I would love to hear both at gotonorton@gmail.com, and when we work collectively with our health-care providers it is always a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of www.candogo.com.