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MCCULLOUGH: A helpful hospital

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

A few years ago I wrote a column extolling the virtues of the emergency room at Gwinnett Medical Center. Now it’s time to brag on another area hospital.

My wife had major back surgery this week, and as I write this she is lying in a bed in the Emory Eastside Joint and Spine Pavilion in Snellville. The type of operation she had requires several days of hospital stay and then months of rehab. I couldn't be happier with the place where she is beginning this journey.

Let's start with the surgeon, Dr. Michael Hartman. A nicer, more knowledgeable, straight-forward man you could not meet. I had no qualms whatsoever about putting my wife's spine in his hands.

After four hours with him and another hour and a half in recovery, she was moved to a room in the spine pavilion where some of the world's nicest, most helpful nurses have been taking care of her.

Let's face it: it's rare to find a whole team of nurses where each shares the same dedication to care and bedside manner. We've all been in a hospital at one time or another where a Nurse Ratched type reared her ugly head. We've not had that problem at Eastside. Every single nurse so far has carried out her duties with a smile and reassurance, which is something we've needed. This type of operation is a serious one and requires a lot of care, rehab and pain maintenance. Pampering of the patient and their guests can come in especially handy.

In fact, Eastside plans it that way. From the Pavilion's description on the Web: "Whatever you need during your stay with us, we'll take care of it. We make problems go away so you can focus on your rehabilitation."

That they do, whether it's making "the coach" (me, for the most part) comfortable at night, feeding you good -- yes, I said good -- food or doing their best to take the patient's pain away, these folks make a difficult process a lot less stressful. The techs, the therapists -- all these professional, helpful folks are making what could be very scary a lot less so.

Gwinnett should be very proud to have this type of medical facility. And while I'm bragging, my wife has been a real trooper, too. I doubt I could go through the same thing with the same demeanor. With any luck, by the time you read this she'll be at home, where her family will try to do as good of a job taking care of her.

We have a hard act to follow.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.