Hospital staff set high standards

Published 3:57 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This week marks National Hospital Week, which began Sunday and will run through Saturday.

Every year, the week of celebration lines up to include the May 12 birth date of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

“National Hospital Week celebrates hospitals and the women and men who support the health and wellbeing of their communities through dedication and compassionate care from the heart,” according to the American Hospital Association. “Take this year’s National Hospital Week as an opportunity to thank all of the dedicated individuals — physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators and so many more — for their contributions.”

That sums it up well. Beaufort County is blessed to have a dedicated group of health care providers at Washington’s Vidant Beaufort Hospital. The staff there truly care about the patients, and more notably, they have ties to the community. These health care providers are not only treating patients, but also are treating friends, neighbors and loved ones. That is the essence of a community hospital.

Health care is changing across the country, and in many areas it has spelled the death of rural hospitals. Beaufort County’s own Vidant Pungo Hospital (formerly Pungo District Hospital) closed in Belhaven in mid-2014 after decades of operation. Like it or not, health care is moving toward an outpatient model, and the days of inpatient care as standard procedure are no more.

This remains a contentious issue, but one thing all can agree upon is the vital role Vidant Beaufort plays in this community, even more so as it is now the sole hospital in the county. The staff there truly make a difference in Beaufort County — not to mention all the lives they save on a daily basis.

If you see one of those staff members around town, take a minute to thank them. They are the ones who will be there during a patient’s darkest hour, and they’ll be there ready to do whatever it takes to bring healing.