More Than a Hospital

John Stuart Watkins

Thirteen days in the Oro Valley Hospital in Marana, Ariz., gave me time to get to know a little about the doctors, nurses, and staff. I realized there is more to a hospital than bricks, steel, and sterilized everything. It is the people who bring the hospital to life.

Michael, RN works in the rehab unit. In his spare time, he is restoring two vintage jeeps, a 1941 Willys MB Slat Grill and a 1948 CJ-2. The CJ-2, a farm Jeep, has been in his family all these years.

Rudy, RN likes working out, reading, playing video games, is an avid Green Hornet fan, and is going to get his master’s degree.

Dr. Stevens is the hospital surgeon and worked on removing the toxins from my hand that got in from a simple gardening encounter in my backyard. He enjoys spending time with his kids when he has time off.

Nichole is a phlebotomist (lab technician) and loves to cook and bake. She drew my blood several times and was so, so gentle.

Jim is also a phlebotomist and was just as gentle.

Jamie is a technician and enjoys reading, hiking, and camping near Greer, Ariz.

Louise delivers meals to the patients. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.

Kristy, RN is learning to golf.

Dr. Chasin is the hospital specialist and looks after all the patients. He checks on their progress and makes suggestions to the doctors when needed. Dr. Chasin spends time with his kids, loves watching sports on TV, and was a baseball outfielder in his younger years. The curveball used to be his nemesis, but he overcame that and was quite an athlete.

Linda enjoys reading poetry and has published a poem and short story.

Jenn was the nurse in charge and oversaw all the patients, checked in on their needs and progress, and was ever-present. She checked in on me many, many times.

Channing, RN works in the rehab unit and loves to go camping and fishing with her husband and four children.

Joi, a technician, loves watercolor painting.

Rebecca, RN, a Navy veteran, loves going to zoos and collecting coffee cups. Her fiancée is active duty in the Navy. She plans on getting another degree to advance her career.

Dana from housekeeping enjoys knitting and makes afghans for family and friends.

Dana K. in occupational therapy enjoys golf and her cats.

Tatyana, RN immigrated to the United States from Baku, Russia where she was a bookkeeper. She found a job as a housekeeper and started taking classes to become an RN. She met a friend who loved her name so much she named one of her kittens Tatyana. Tatyana told me she remembers almost all of the patients she has had over the years, and she loves the United States and the opportunities she has enjoyed since becoming an American citizen.

All were essential in making my stay a wonderful experience. Some staff have been omitted because I did not write their names down, but all contributed to my recovery. They represent what makes a hospital great.

There are no non-essential workers there!