Ethel Haugh has been receiving her medical care at Womack Army Medical Center since the 1970s.
When she became ill and needed care, her daughter Sandra Glass knew the only place she would want to go is to WAMC.
On Aug. 18, the Family learned Haugh had an infection that caused her kidneys to shut down.
On any other day, Haugh would have needed to be transferred to another hospital for care.
However, Womack has been working to expand its capability and has been training and preparing for months to provide care for patients with acute kidney or renal failure. So, instead of being transferred to a strange hospital further from home, Haugh was taken to the WAMC Intensive Care Unit where the team immediately began dialysis.
“It means a lot to me to have her be able to get dialysis here,” said Glass while her mom was receiving treatment. “We love this hospital and both she and dad have always had good care here. She would love the fact that she’s staying here and not anywhere else.”
Glass, who lives nearby in Eastover, North Carolina said that being able to stay at Womack instead of traveling to a different location also made things easier on her as her mom’s primary caregiver.
She added that her mom would love the fact that her husband, a retired sergeant first class, was the first patient to be treated at WAMC using a new carotid artery monitoring machine years ago with people coming in to see the new system at work and that she was now getting attention as the first dialysis patient.
Dr. (Maj.) Nathan Boyer said that the ability to provide dialysis is a much welcomed addition to the ICU in order to be able to provide high quality care to beneficiaries.
“Being able to do inpatient dialysis gives us the capability to take care of more critically ill patients,” said Boyer. “These are patients that we used to have to send out to receive care when they showed up in our emergency room. Now we can take care of them here without adding additional stress and worries for patients and their Families.”
Sheryl Hofmeister, a registered nurse, said that she and other ICU nurses have been training since the beginning of this year to be able to provide this care.
“It lets us do our job more effectively,” said Hofmeister. “Taking care of those who need us is the reason why we’re here as ICU nurses. It’s exciting to be here as we expand the care we’re able to provide for our patients.”
While the nurses and doctors are the ones patients and Families see at their bedside, Boyer emphasized that it took a team to get to this point.
“It’s really a multidisciplinary process,” he said. “For me as a doctor, my task of taking care of the patient is just a small part of the puzzle. It’s the staff who really made this happen.
“From everyone in the pharmacy to the noncommissioned officers who helped throughout the process to the nurses to everyone who helped get us trained and ready. It’s a testament to their commitment to the hospital’s mission of providing high-quality health care to our patients.”