I have been writing articles for the paper now for about two years. I have tried to provide accurate information about health related topics without bias toward the hospital and health care system where I work. However, since I was a recent patient at Berlin Hospital, I would like to share about my experience and the wonderful care I received.
Last week’s article was about arthritis. This was personal because I was suffering from a worn out hip. I was unable to ride my bike, my motion was very limited, and walking any distance was becoming difficult. My x-rays showed the hip joint has worn out so I decided it was time to have a hip replacement. I knew I could go wherever I wanted to go for the surgery. It was not hard for me to decide that I was having my surgery at Berlin Hospital.
I came to Berlin 30 years ago to practice in a small hospital because I realized that small hospitals could provide excellent care locally with a personal touch. I have strived to treat patients the same way that I would want to be treated. When problems can be taken care of in Berlin I have advised my patients to have the care done here.
I feel that it would not send the right message if I did not trust the providers in Berlin to provide my care when I needed it. Some people may feel awkward having care done by people that they know. I get that, but I don’t feel that way. I have cared for many people that I know personally and I feel I have been responsible to protect their confidential concerns and I have felt I could provide better care than someone who did not know them. So, I was very comfortable with having people care for me that I knew and worked with.
On July 1st Dr. David Jones, orthopedic surgeon, and the staff at Berlin Memorial Hospital provided me with a total hip replacement with an anterior approach. The care I received was top notch. I was up walking the same day and went home the next day. I think my recovery was a little quicker than most but I could not be happier with the care I was given and with the results. It is good for doctors to see healthcare from the other end of the stethoscope to help give them a different perspective on patient care.
Yes, Berlin Hospital does not have fireplaces, waterfalls, or designer frills in the rooms. That was not what I was looking for; I was looking for quality care locally. I was happy to be able to have this care done by people that I knew. Sometimes I feel bad for people who travel far away for care when they can get as good or better care provided locally. I am afraid advertising may give people the impression that care is better, but advertising of medical services can be misleading.
In some ways I feel small hospitals are under appreciated. I honestly don’t know what the future holds for small hospitals. I do know that small hospitals are monitored for quality measures just like large hospitals but the small hospital can provide the personal touch. I feel confident in the care that is available locally and hope that it can be provided for years to come by quality, committed providers like the ones we have in Berlin.
I am very happy with my new hip that I received at my local community hospital. The care was excellent. I can’t wait to get back to being active and staying healthy my friends.
By: P. Michael Shattuck, M.D. – Community Health Network Family Physician