Two weeks ago I sat in the ER at Providence St. Peter Hospital. I sat there with my 85-year-old dad and 75-year-old mom. Dad arrived, by ambulance at approximately 10:30 p.m., after not being able to breath well during the day. Then, after receiving oxygen in triage, we proceeded to sit in the overflowing waiting room for two hours. At 1 a.m. my struggling and worn dad decided ‘enough was enough’ and he wanted to go home.
Upon returning the next morning as his breathing issue had worsened over night, again by ambulance (but this time being sent directly into a room in the ER) we saw a few of the other patients who had remained there all night. The doctor and nurses asked my dad “Why did you leave last night?” (recognizing the gravity of his circumstances) and he replied, “Because I was tired of sitting there waiting.”
Two staff members commented on the overflowing and overcrowding that is a frequent occurrence. They also mentioned that petitions for expansion or an additional facility have been denied.
On behalf of my folks, and all the rest of those who have experienced such nights may I offer this:
Providence: God or nature as providing protective or spiritual care; timely preparation for future eventualities.
St. Peter was the disciple of action; not hesitation. Though many times, he required readjusting and rethinking, he was never known for ‘waiting’.