ROCK SPRINGS – While families gather around a sparkling Christmas Tree to spend quality time together, not to mention open those presents, sometimes we forget about those who are still serving the community.
For one group, Christmas can bring out a variety of emotions. It can bring a deep sadness but also the joy of providing the biggest Christmas gift of all, the gift of life. For the team of the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Emergency Department, Christmas means something a little different.
While Christmas is a special time for everybody, Dr. Stacy Prescott said it can be very sad for the emergency room staff. She explained they have seen older, sick family members dropped off at the hospital because the family did not want to deal with them during the holidays.
Prescott said many of the people dropped off are grateful to have the company and caring attention during the holiday. But still, staff is all about putting the family back together.
“Our job is getting people home with their families,” Prescott explained.
Tragedy can happen unexpectedly at any time. It really does not matter what day it is. Travelers involved in car accidents, accidents at homes, the staff has seen it all during the holidays. For Prescott, the support families and the community can provide is overwhelming, especially during the holidays.
“It’s a fabulous time to see the how supportive the community where we live is,” she exclaimed.
While families, church groups and the hospital staff all work to make the best out of a bad situation, the goal is to get everyone home for the holidays.
Cari McMillan said in so many situations, it takes everyone pooling all their resources together to help these people every way they can.
Chief of Nursing Deb Gaspar said they also have funds through the hospital foundation and, if a person meets the requirements, they can access those funds, but they still rely on the family and the community’s help during the Christmas season.
While the goal is getting people home, there is also the care they receive while they are at the ER. McMillan and Prescott both explained that health care workers are compassionate to begin with, but during the holiday the team really gets to show what they do best. Not only with the care and working together, but the compassion with the families and patients to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
Gasper said if there is one thing they understand it is tragedy. She explained during the holiday they work extra hard to make tragedy less hard for those going through it.
“Christmas is the most difficult time for us emotionally,” Prescott said. “Our hearts are breaking in every room we go into.”
Many times, the ER team has to deal with emotion just as if it were their family there. In the end, these lifesavers have to put their own emotion on the backburner and jump into action.
Recently, Prescott shared how they had a gentleman from out of state and nobody knew who he was. She said first responders, the Rock Springs Police Department, the Sweetwater County Coroner and hospital staff pooled all their resources and were able to get information on this person.
She said the way people in this community work together is inspiring to watch and be part of.
“You come here and I’m amazed at how fabulous the staff is,” Prescott said. “It rallies us and is inspiring work. We get to do what we do best.”