This past year I’ve had several encounters with Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. I’ve seen multiple wings, different care units and been present for difficult conversations. “Do you have a DNR? If you are dying, do you want chest compressions or a ventilator to save you?”
For a while there, before I had ever set foot in Providence, I felt oversaturated by their advertising campaign. I must have heard about Dr. Gina Cadena-Forney’s pregnancy a million times. I’m sorry that Dr. Tom Smith had prostate cancer, but I was tired of hearing about it. It seemed like every time I turned on Hulu or looked at a bus I saw their faces.
Now I’ve been to Providence enough times that my annoyance seems silly. The truth is there could never be enough words for me to convey how grateful I am to the people of Providence Everett.
It’s not just the doctors and nurses who have earned my admiration. It’s also the cafeteria servers, the men and women who clean the bathrooms and all of the other unnamed persons who keep the place humming.
I’m entirely ignorant of the medical profession. I don’t even know the title of the people who wheel your family member away for chest X-rays or MRIs. But I do know that the workers at Providence will treat my loved ones with respect.
Not having a medical background, it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed in a clinical setting. I’ve been at other hospitals where I have felt — not exactly treated poorly, but patronized or managed. I’ve never felt this way at Providence.
I am also deeply impressed by the architects and interior decorators. I’ve arrived at Providence scared, trying to be strong for my loved ones, and been calmed by the buildings themselves. The architecture imposes peace upon visitors, from the moment they enter. You get the feeling of calm, like you’re in a place where people mean business and they’re really going to help.
Windows are everywhere and that makes a big difference. Even on the rainiest, grayest and most worrisome day, there is still light at that hospital. When you are accompanying a family member during a difficult situation and you get 10 minutes to stretch your legs, it really helps to be flooded by daylight and look upon a pretty view. A simple trip to the restroom can be restorative to your mental health.
The food is not bad either. I’ve eaten every gluten-free option the cafeteria has to offer and felt well-nourished. I have left loved ones in the evening comforted by the knowledge that they would be fed a very good breakfast.
So on behalf of the children, grandchildren and friends who have walked through your doors, thank you, Providence Everett. You are very much appreciated.
Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.