Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guest Column: A Farewell to Friends

Tomorrow marks the end of my summer journey at Grinnell Regional Medical Center. What a journey it’s been. Reflecting back on my very first day, I remember my first meeting was at 11 a.m. and Lanna Princer, executive assistant, walked me down to the conference room. I sat around the table, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as the entire group of department heads began filtering in. Todd was at a meeting in a nearby town, so there wasn’t a familiar face in sight. They recognized a guest in the room and one-by-one went around introducing themselves. I introduced myself as Rachel Cain, a graduate student at the University of Iowa who would be interning under Mr. Linden for the summer. At that time I didn’t realize the family-like atmosphere of the organization and that nobody referred to anybody as Mr. this or Ms. that. Well, I quickly learned.

Walking around the hallways today to wrap things up and say my goodbyes, I realize how much of an impact this organization has had on me. In only 12 short weeks I have learned what it means to be part of a community hospital. Nobody can walk down the hallways of this hospital and not have at least three people greet them with a smile and a hello. This is something that I will be taking with me as I leave.

I’d like to run through a few of the things that stick out in my mind about my experience at GRMC. When I first met with Mark Doll, director of facilities, he took me around the facility to show me all of the mechanical equipment it takes to run a hospital. We even went onto the roof and went inside one of the ventilator rooms, which was quite a unique experience. I spent a few days with the hospice group and was able to hear some great insights from Susan, the hospice chaplain, about end of life care and life in general. There was one particular hospice patient that I will never forget and am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet. Watching the surgical procedures in the OR was fascinating and for a second they had me thinking I wanted to switch gears and become a surgeon! Well, that urge passed… I think I’ll stick with my words and numbers (for now at least). I always looked forward to the administrative team meetings every week; I was fascinated by the wide range of topics up for discussion and the way the team dealt with anything that came their way. The Green Team meetings and initiatives were near and dear to my heart and I will miss those interactions immensely. Don’t forget to recycle, now!

Most of all I appreciate the relationships I developed with all of the wonderful people at this institution. There is something special going on within the walls of this hospital. Thank you, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, for a fabulous summer and a great learning experience. Most importantly, thank you for your kindness and compassion you showed to me throughout the summer. Ciao!

Rachel Cain, GRMC administrative intern

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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