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New Hanover Regional Medical Center is asking patients to provide their comments about the treatment they received from nurses while in the hospital. NHRMC is seeking a designation of nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program. The certification process requires input from patients and their families as to the care and treatment they received from the nursing staff. NHRMC received the nursing excellence certification in 2003 and now the certification is up for renewal.

I hope that patients and their families will provide their comments. The nurses who work very hard and provide excellent care deserve to be recognized. We do not always stop to praise those who perform a job well. We are often quick to criticize, but are slow to praise.

I think hospitals should ask patients on a regular basis about the care and treatment they receive from the medical staff, not just nurses. Hospitals need to know what patients think. Our firm often receives calls from people wanting to file a lawsuit for medical negligence, when it turns out that the real problem was the way they were personally (as opposed to medically) treated by the staff. Perhaps some of these ill feelings could have been resolved before the patient left the hospital if someone in the hospital had asked about their care and responded to the patient’s concerns. Human beings have a desire to be heard and have someone validate a concern. We stew about it and get upset when this doesn’t happen. Have you ever realized how quickly you calm down about something when someone actually listens?

So I encourage the residents of Wilmington, New Hanover county and the surrounding area to post their comments regarding the nursing care at NHRMC. Comments can be mailed to: American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program Office; 8515 Georgia Ave., Suite 400; Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492. They also can be faxed to (301) 628-5217 or e-mailed to Hopefully you will have many positive things to say.

Since the comments requested for the creditialing purpose will not be shared with the hospital, I encourage you to let hospital officials now how the entire staff is doing. Please share the positive comments as well as the negative ones. And to NHRMC, I encourage you to ask for comments from patients and their families more often. You may just like what you hear.

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