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A small gesture of respect has big impacts for a day surgery patient:

Steve was experiencing immense pain in his lower abdomen and had gone from specialist to specialist... try and figure out what was happening. 

Due to the pandemic many of his appointments were delayed or cancelled; getting the care he needed was moving a lot slower than he had hoped.  

Internist, Dr. Jeff McKinnon, recommended that Steve have a colonoscopy done to help identify what was causing the pain. A colonoscopy is an imaging test of the colon which detects abnormalities in the large intestine (colon). During a colonoscopy a long, flexible camera is used to allow the doctor to view inside the colon. 

An appointment was arranged in our day surgery department a few months later. Steve was anxious to get answers to what was causing his pain but terrified to have the procedure.  

“My wife drove me to the appointment. I just remember thinking I wasn’t going to wake up and that it was going to hurt,” recalled Steve. “When I got in the operating room, and I saw the long camera all I could think was ‘This is not going to be good’.” 

As an incredibly private person, Steve was most worried about having to be uncovered for the procedure.  

“I had put on the hospital gown but didn’t realize I needed to completely undress for the procedure. Before I even had chance to think about what was happening there was a nurse holding up a blanket in front of me making sure no one could see me,” recalled Steve. 

Registered Practical Nurse, Patricia, was on Steve’s care team and without hesitation went to his side to provide privacy so he could remove his undergarments. 

“He was so nervous and visibly uncomfortable. I could tell right away that he was probably very culturally conservative, and I wanted to make sure he felt that his privacy and dignity was respected,” said Patricia.  

This small gesture of respect had a big impact on Steve; making him feel safe in a moment of great uncertainty.   

“I just remember thinking to myself as the anesthesia set in that it was going to be ok, this nurse would be here and she would make sure I would be ok,” said Steve. 

We are grateful for members of our team, like Patricia, who take the time to care for the person first, looking beyond a patient’s immediate health care needs to see the whole person.  

Following the procedure, Dr. McKinnon shared with Steve that he had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder that affects the large intestine and can cause great pain. IBS needs to be managed over the long term and Dr. McKinnon provided the next step for Steve to learn how to move forward.  

“Dr. McKinnon was really professional, and I felt like there was finally a resolution to what was going on,” said Steve. 

Photo caption: Patricia, Registered Practical Nurse, in our Operating Room.  

*Name has been changed to protect the patient’s privacy.