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Beebe’s Emergency Department - Taking Care of Our Families
One morning this past winter I enjoyed tea and scones with Peter and Iris Bonnett in the dining room of the Beebe Medical Foundation as Peter shared his story:
“One evening I sensed heart attack symptoms and so we called 911. The ambulance was at our home in Millsboro in four minutes. They did an EKG and we were given a choice of going to Peninsula or Beebe. When we arrived at Beebe’s Emergency Department (ED), everyone already knew I was coming and addressed me by name. My wife Iris and a friend arrived a little later and within minutes, I was in treatment.
“The ED nurses immediately put in an IV and then a doctor appeared and asked me some related questions. Next, an X-ray machine arrived and I had a second EKG. There was a period of waiting for the results from my blood tests. They had concluded something was not quite right and they wanted to investigate further. It was decided I would spend the night and I was taken up to the second floor.
“The second floor nurses were expectantly waiting for me. More questions, lots of questions. I found it very interesting how many times I was asked how old I was and what my birthday is. They need to make certain they are treating the right patient. Because I had the IV in for a long time, I needed to go to the bathroom all through the night. You can never sleep in these situations, you can only doze because there are so many machines buzzing and clicking. First thing in the morning, I would be off for a stress test.
“The young ladies who took care of me in the cardiology center, Erica McElhaney and Annie Villalobos, were not only incredibly professional, they were also cheerful and efficient. It was obvious that they knew exactly what they were doing and I felt that I was in excellent hands. While I was there, Dr. Prasad, my cardiologist, came in to see me. It was so nice to see him. He asked me how I felt and explained why they were doing the stress test. I completed the stress test and came back up to the second floor.
“There was a male nurse on the second floor and we learned that he lives in the same community as we do in Millsboro. He kept an eye on me until it was time for me to go home. At this time, they conveyed to me their concern that I was severely dehydrated. They explained to me how important it was to get into a routine of drinking water, which is something I traditionally didn’t do. I never feel thirsty, so I don’t drink water. I drink tea.
“Since then there is a glass of water strategically located at my side wherever I am in the house. I have learned the importance of staying well hydrated. Upon reflection, I am more conscious of signs and feelings that might be related to an issue with my heart. Indigestion, muscular pain, temperature – any of these things, shouldn’t be ignored. I am certainly more alert to these signs, acting as helpful indicators as to when I need to take action... Reading the signs is obviously very important.
“My wife and I are relatively recent transplants to Sussex County, just moving to Delaware three and a half years ago. We were initially uncertain about the medical care available. Both Iris and I have had situations where we have come to Beebe for treatment. We now know for certain that we are living in an area where there is top class medical care, not only by the doctors, but from the entire staff of the hospital. We made a gift of thanks and appreciation for the recent care given to me by the ER staff, the cardiac group and the second floor staff. Everybody was courteous, respectful and efficient.”
At the conclusion of Peter’s interview, we left the Foundation house for a quick visit to the Emergency Department. It was our hope to reconnect with some of the Beebe team members who provided Peter’s care, but alas, they were not working that day. Nurse Manager Sue Ann Newsham told Peter a little bit about the nurses who provided his care. “Stephanie Brown and Amy Willey are both life-long residents of Sussex County. Both earned their Nursing Degrees from the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare. Amy Willey graduated in 2007 and was a preceptor for Stephanie Brown who graduated in 2016. Every nurse working in Beebe’s Emergency Department completes specialized, additional training in Emergency Trauma Care. Beebe’s Emergency Department is staffed by a team of nearly 90 professionals and we are a family. The culture of family carries over into the treatment of our patients and they become part of our family.”
Last week we arranged a wonderful celebration with Nurses Stephanie Brown, Amy Willey, and Nuclear Medicine Technician Erica McElhaney, and others working in Beebe’s Emergency Department. Peter was pleasantly surprised that everyone remembered him! Stephanie Brown shared the reason why, “Peter’s lovely British accent and wonderful sense of humor immediately reminded me of how much I enjoyed talking with him while he was in our care. It is so nice that he came back to see us again, not as a patient, but this time as our friend.”
The biggest party of the summer, Beebe Medical Foundation’s Beebe Beach Bash will once again fund Beebe Healthcare’s Emergency Department. Beebe’s guests will take over a docked Cape May Lewes Ferry to enjoy The Fabulous Greaseband, dancing, dining, auctions, and boardwalk games. We are committed to providing quality care to our patients, and this event will allow us to offer the most advanced technology to save and change lives. For more information on how to join in the fun, visit www.beebemedicalfoundation.org.