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Voice of the Patient - Ellen Plumb

Ellen Plumb with Kari Kangas, RN

When a loved one faces a medical emergency there are a million questions and concerns that race through your mind. The last thing anyone wants to think about is how well that person will be taken care of. For Cheryl Carson, when her mother Ellen Plumb fell at her home and was brought to the ER at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, she didn’t know what to expect.  

The family moved to Naubinway in May of 2017 from downstate and had only lived in the area for four short months before Ellen’s fall. This was their first experience with Helen Newberry Joy Hospital. Cheryl was nervous, as anyone who has a family member in the hospital would be, and her only experience had been with larger facilities downstate. Right from the start, the staff at HNJH made her mother, Ellen, feel at home. 

Ellen was diagnosed and treated for a fractured pelvis and the family was given the option for her to go home, or to be admitted and recover in Helen Newberry Joy Hospital’s Swing Bed Program. Ellen’s daughter Cheryl recalls, “The doctor included us in the decision and for her safety, we felt it was best that she stay.” It wasn’t an easy choice for Cheryl, but after seeing how well her mother was cared for, it put her at ease. “Everyone was very accommodating. I felt very comfortable leaving her there because I knew she was being taken care of,” said Carson.

And taken care of she was. With daily housekeeping and an entire menu of food options, it didn’t feel like a typical hospital stay. It felt like home. Ellen recalls her experiences at larger facilities and compared them to her experience at HNJH. “I was surprised how quickly the nursing staff would respond once called. I would have waited forever at other facilities, but the nurses here were in my room before I could even lift my finger off the button.” Carson adds, “Mom received better one-on-one care here than in any larger hospital downstate.” 

The Swing Bed Program at HNJH allows a patient to recover from surgery, illness or injury right here in their community where they can be close to home, friends, and family. It’s a short-term care solution until they are ready to care for themselves. As a swing bed patient, Plumb was able to receive physical and occupational therapy which continued once she got home. When it was time for her discharge she stated, “I didn’t want to leave.” That’s what care that makes you feel like home does. 

If you or a loved one have received inpatient care or surgery at another hospital you can choose to participate in the Swing Bed Program at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital - allowing you to recuperate closer to home. Ask the hospital to coordinate a transfer to the HNJH Swing Bed Program. For more information about the HNJH Swing Bed Program, or to arrange a stay, call the HNJH social worker at 906.293.9223.