Northern New York Newspapers
Watertown Daily Times
The Journal
Daily Courier-Observer
NNY Business
NNY Living
Malone Telegram
Sun., Jul. 13
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
In print daily. Online always.
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Patients must be able to trust doctors

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Today’s economy is challenging the ability of small rural hospitals to provide even essential care.

Our community is faced with the obstacle of trying to provide these services during a budget crisis.

One of the main concepts in a small community is trust, and many patients will not seek medical care from doctors they do not trust.

Residents of Lewis County are comforted by knowing they can receive health care close to home with emergency physicians they have built a trusting relationship with. As a nurse in the emergency room at Lewis County General Hospital, I have witnessed this phenomenon on a daily basis. I have also witnessed the quality care and vested interests that the current group of physicians have.

I acknowledge the budget crisis and want the hospital to be financially viable but not at the expense of providing quality care and destroying the public’s confidence.

Working with this group of physicians is a group of dedicated nurses. Many of them have obtained their certification in emergency nursing and advanced degrees. We have developed a relationship of collaboration with the physicians and work well as a team.

Sending patients to doctors and nurses who are not as knowledgeable about the patient’s history is not in the best interest of the patient or the community.

Furthermore, admonishing nurses for exercising their freedom of speech is not appropriate especially since the method we were informed of the hospital’s financial woes was through the Watertown Times.

Jennifer Smith


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