Andrea Borden's Story
This past Saturday night, we made a trip to the GBMC Emergency Room with our ten-month-old son. We had already contacted our primary care physician who had told us to go straight in to the ER because our son was experiencing a "barking cough." Let me first say that my husband and I are transplants to the Baltimore area, so we are not too familiar with the area hospitals, aside from our son being born at another local hospital. On one other occasion we have had to visit that same area hospital's ER for our son, and it was not a good experience. The pediatric doctor there looked like we had interrupted his nap time and was useless in coming up with a diagnosis. His words to us: "He probably has the flu, or it could just be a bad cold. We can take a culture if you want." Excuse me? He was six months old at the time and had a temperature of 103.7 degrees! This time, when my son got sick, we knew we weren't going back to that hospital, so we decided to try GBMC. In fact, our primary care doctor suggested that original hospital, and my husband and I in unison yelled "No!"
From the moment we drove to GBMC, our experience was perfect. The ER was clearly marked. The parking was easy and access into the hospital was a cinch. Most parents can attest to the fact that when your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is encounter obstacles getting your child to safety and better health. Our doctor had called in ahead, so most of our information was already in the system.
We waited no longer than ten minutes. While we waited, the staff was friendly and comforting. They acknowledged us and made us feel like weren't just another face in the crowd. Again, as a person seeking medical treatment, this is comforting. I'm experiencing something that I'm unfamiliar with and it's nice to feel that comfort in the place from which you are seeking help.
When we got back into the pediatric unit, it was clean and organized. The staff saw us promptly and the process began. We saw Dr. Fitzpatrick, who was amazing. It took about five minutes for our son to warm up, but once he did, he walked right across the ER bed and sat on her lap -unprompted! (Well, he does have a natural tendency to flirt with the ladies.) Dr. Fitzpatrick diagnosed him with Croup and gave us all of the details on what to expect and how to proceed. He was given an oral steroid to help with throat inflammation and we were settled and walking out the door at 9:05 p.m.! Did I mention we got there at 8:00 p.m.? We were in and out in just over an hour. It was unbelievable.
I'm not sure if it was a slow Saturday night or what, but it was a fantastic experience and I can say that I will not be going to any other hospital. I'm converted. I was treated like an individual, and that's so important, especially when you're dealing with a new parent with a sick child. I LOVE GBMC.