Radiologic Technologist, Operating Room
Start Date: 1974
WHETHER CARE-GIVER OR CARE-RECEIVER, MedStar Washington Hospital Center EXCELS
When I started at the Hospital Center there was no North Addition, no NRH, no parking garages, no Cancer Institute and no MedSTAR. The new Children's Hospital had not yet opened. The concept of a centralized Admission Testing Center was on the drawing board, and CT and ultrasound were brand new technologies. In Radiology, we worked with hard copy films, typewriters, flashcards and darkroom developers. And everybody wore white!
The East Building housed nursing, x-ray and medical students, with "efficiencies" on a separate floor for married residents. As a student, I remember watching fireworks over the Washington Monument from the building's roof.
The most intense and proud moment of my career has to be the night Air Florida went down and the page system blared "Code Orange THIS IS NOT A DRILL." No sooner had we started triage for patients from that disaster, than a second Code Orange was called. Metro had derailed in a tunnel. It was surreal. Everyone mobilized quickly and calmly only to receive one trauma patient from the two accidents. But we were ready and it was inspiring to witness.
As a six-year breast cancer survivor, I've been on both the receiving and delivery ends of care here. And I can say from first-hand experience that the Hospital Center is outstanding.
Over the years, I've been blessed to see many people overcome illness, from cancers to heart transplants to trauma. And I continue to be inspired and amazed by my patients. A nurse anesthetist who suffered a major stroke once told me, "Every day's a holiday and every meal's a feast". As tough as the human body is, the human spirit is tougher.