Christopher Mason is a healthy guy. He’s married with two grown children, and has no history of serious illness. He eats well and works out regularly. But recently, he got an unexpected, up-close-and-personal view of health care in this province, and he reached out to the Saskatchewan Health Authority to express his appreciation for the care he received.
His recent journey through the health care system began the evening of Monday, January 14, 2019.
“I got no sleep that night because of a debilitating pain coming from the right side of my torso,” explained Mason, who lives in Saskatoon.
The next day, he visited his family doctor’s office, where he was able to see one of the physicians on staff.
“That physician did an exceptional job taking a thorough history and conducting investigations,” Mason said. “I was sent home to await lab results, but received a call from the doctor directing me to go to the emergency room at St. Paul’s Hospital.”
The St. Paul’s Hospital emergency room was busy the afternoon Mason arrived, but after what he said was a reasonable wait, he was admitted to the hospital.
“The staff had been made aware of why I was there by the physician, and they recognized the urgency of my condition,” Mason stated. “Apart from the attention they gave to my situation, the most noticeable skill all people at St. Paul’s Hospital had was the foresight and ability to talk me through the various procedures and tests that were required, while making me feel comfortable and safe.”
As Mason explained, it’s one thing to put your faith in the system while hoping the people caring for you are doing the right thing; it’s another to have those same people walk you through the process, explaining things as they are happening to make sure you understand what’s happening.
Christopher Mason of Saskatoon.
“It’s very comforting,” he said, adding, “all staff, from those in admitting to nurses, doctors, CT technicians, phlebotomists, X-ray and ultrasound technicians, pharmacists, and even the porters, contributed in a very significant way to providing me with a safe and informed stay at a very difficult time in my life. While I didn’t interact with maintenance personnel, cleaning or kitchen staff, I did benefit from their exceptional work, and I’d like to acknowledge them as well.”
Little things make a big difference when you’re in the hospital receiving care, said Mason.
“Something as simple as the willingness of the pharmacist to make some inquires, or the phlebotomist to explain and make you feel comfortable, or the pleasant small talk of the porters as they take you for yet another test ― all this contributed to a very comfortable stay in a place no one wants to have to stay.
“With all candor, this exceptional care was not unique to a shift or category of people; it was everyone. I can say this because I was in the care of these wonderful people for five days,” Mason said.
As fate would have it, the following week, Mason had the opportunity to go through a procedure at Saskatoon City Hospital.
“It cannot be emphasized enough that simply updating patients about what’s going on makes them feel safe and comfortable at a time that is usually scary and uncertain,” Mason noted. “From the admitting personnel, to the nurses to the amazing work of the anaesthetist, all made me feel comfortable and proud to be able to say that the Saskatchewan Health Authority is doing a spectacular job.
“I’m a fan of giving credit where credit is due, and the folks in the SHA deserve a pat on the back for what was excellent, informed, safe care. Congratulations on a job well done.”