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Making a Difference at OMC ~ Carol Powell's Story

Making a Difference at OMC ~ Carol Powell's Story

“One Friday afternoon, I was assigned to ultrasound at the Shaw Building. As I waited for my patient to arrive, an ambulance transport team in the hallway was picking up a patient who had finished her MRI and needed to be taken back to the hospital. Their words to the patient were so gentle and respectful that I began listening intently. After a couple of minutes, I could tell there was some sort of problem and I walked out to the hall to see if I could assist.

The patient was very ill and confused. She was afraid to transfer from the MRI table to the stretcher. The MRI tech and the two transporters were trying to convince her that it was okay for them to move her. It became apparent that she was afraid that she was going to be strapped down and “taken away” somewhere. No amount of talking could convince her otherwise.

I spoke to her too. She wanted water, and I had a bottle, which I brought to her. Still she refused to transfer. One of the transport team members got the woman’s daughter to come over from her hospital room to try to convince her it was okay. Still, she was afraid.

About that time Dr. Morgan came by, out of his white coat, and in casual clothes. He recognized the patient, spoke to her briefly, then went and got his white coat, put it on, held her hand, looked her in the eye, and told her we were telling her the truth, that she was going back to the hospital and nowhere else. She finally relented and was taken across the street. I got my next patient, the MRI tech got hers, and life went on as usual.

But for a few moments I saw five hospital employees doing their jobs the way they should be done. None of us were concerned about running behind. None of us were rolling our eyes because the patient wouldn’t cooperate. None of us were speaking in a tone that indicated that she was a nuisance. Because all we saw was the look in that frightened woman’s eyes. It was obvious she was fighting a terrible illness, and she feared the worst. And we CARED. Not because we were supposed to, or because that’s what we got paid to do, but because we just CARED. There were tears in our eyes as we put ourselves in her shoes and did everything we could to allay her fears.

It’s one thing to encourage employees to be compassionate, but it’s an altogether better thing to see it in action. Our hospital is filled with people like the ones I was with that Friday afternoon. It’s wonderful to see moments when our best selves take over, and we do what we’re called by God to do. I’m grateful to be a small part of an incredible team of people.”

~ Carol Powell, Multi-Modality Ultrasound Technician, Ozarks Medical Center Radiology Department

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