As part of Feedback February we’re sharing stories about staff members who have individually named as part of patient feedback on Care Opinion.
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“Every day is different you don’t know who’s going to be coming through that door or what they’re going to be coming through with” is how Jean Gorman describes her workday. Jean is member of the Welcome Team at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Based in the main foyer, Jean meets patients, service users, family members and carers coming into the hospital in every situation imaginable.
In one particular case, Jean’s compassion and support is what singled her out on Care Opinion for how she helped one family.
Jean explained how a lady turned up to the hospital looking for her husband who had been involved in an accident. She said: “It was a normal day, busy day at the desk, and as I mentioned before it can be the worst day of your life when you meet these people coming through the door and this lady arrived very stressed upset her husband was en route to the hospital by ambulance after falling off a roof.
“So he was seriously injured, she was very upset and stressed and I tried to calm her down and reassure her and kept her at the desk with me when I looked up the system to find her husband.”
Unfortunately, this lady’s husband wasn’t on the system for Jean to locate. There didn’t seem to be any sign of him coming in.
Jean said: “He wasn’t in the system yet, there was no sign of him arriving yet. I reassured her that he’s obviously on his way and as soon as I get him on the system I will let her know. In the course of the time that we were at the desk, we had a brief conversation with each other, asked each other’s names.
“She was getting very anxious I think in all she might have been with me about 25 minutes to half an hour, it was pretty long wait. I kept checking the system, he still wasn’t in the department.”
Thankfully, after the long wait, the husband came up on the system in the Emergency Department. She said: “He was 2 minutes in the department so I said: ‘He’s here he’s arrived.’ I directed her how to get to A&E and off she went as quick as she could.”
The family appreciated the support Jean had shown. The lady, along with her daughter, arrived at the front desk the following day on their way in to visit her husband. Jean said: “The lady kindly, the next day came back to the desk with her young daughter to update me and her husband was and thank me so much for the help that I gave her the day before and reassuring her that her husband will be okay and he’s in good hands and the best place to be.”
It didn’t end there for Jean. A few weeks later she got the opportunity to meet the lady’s husband as he making his way to a follow up appointment.
Jean said: “A few weeks time after, that the same lady arrived at the desk with a lovely big box of chocolates and a thank you card and the husband in tow.
“It was amazing to see him. It was lovely to see him up on his feet, even if he was on crutches and in plasters and bruised still and whatever. It was lovely to see that gentleman come towards the desk with a big smile on his face knowing this could have ended very, very differently.
“He thanked me for looking after his wife that day, and she again thanked me. I said it’s no problem it’s part of the job, that’s what we’re here to do and it was great to see them happy and on the mend.
“I found it very humbling that they took the time out, him injured on crutches, to come over to the desk to thank me.
“I mean it’s just our job, we do this day in day out, we don’t do it for thanks. We’re there to help people who make their journey to the Royal and their trips there at the hospital be but easier.”