Gunnison Valley Hospital

GVH Could Teach Large Hospitals...

Letter to the Editor
November 29, 2012
Courtesy of The Crested Butte News

Leaving the Gunnison Valley was heart wrenching for me. Not only did I miss the amazing beauty the valley has to offer, but I missed the beauty of the people living there. I came to the valley as a young college student and left as a mom, nurse, wife and loyal friend.
Gunnison Valley Hospital was my second home for the last 13 years. As a brand new nurse, GVH taught me not only the basics of nursing care, but it gave me much more.

I knew it was a special place when I worked there. Now I work in a major teaching city hospital that offers level one trauma, organ transplants, and is one of the most renowned cardiac surgical hospitals in the United States. It employees 7,000 people and has 800 patient beds — just a slight change from GVH’s 24 bed hospital!

Yet even with all the sophisticated medicine and technology that the hospital offers its patients, it misses what GVH has to offer. It is missing the dedication of our physicians who commit a large part of their lives to care for the people of the Gunnison Valley.

My current hospital does not offer the care and compassion that the GVH consistently gives to its patients. I remember on numerous occasions the nurses and ward clerks would collect money for a patient’s prescriptions. And even when no family or friend was available to drive a patient home after discharge, a member of the medical team would do so. Where do you find the love and commitment that a little rural hospital gives to a community? It taught me how to love my patient and how to give the extra TLC to my patients. I now work with a lot of young new nurses who don’t know the basics of nursing. The core basics of nursing to me are so simple; it is caring.

GVH gave me a strong foundation for nursing. It will sustain me for years to come in whatever direction the medical field takes me. And for that, I thank GVH for teaching me what it is to be a nurse. I want to thank the people of the Gunnison Valley for allowing me to help deliver their babies, caring for them at their bedside, and letting me be a part of saying goodbye to their loved ones.

The most important message I want to send is a thank you to my family physicians. You allowed me to learn and grow as a professional with no judgment, ego, and the utmost support in a healthy learning environment. The Gunnison Valley is a place we all want to call home. I can’t wait to come home.

Ann Whiting
Baltimore, Md.

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