Despite staff shortage, Port Moody hospital ‘felt like a spa’

A Coquitlam woman wanted to celebrate staff at Eagle Ridge Hospital because of the calm, compassionate care she received during a seven -hour stay after a fall.

There’s got to be a good reason to organize a lunch for 475 people.

It turns out there were many reasons a Coquitlam resident and RBC commercial account manager wanted to celebrate the health care workers at Eagle Ridge Hospital.

“I wanted to express my immense gratitude to the foundation for the positive work put into Eagle Ridge Hospital,” said Marjan Kazemzadeh, whose story spurred the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation to organize a staff appreciation event on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Along with a hearty Italian meal supplied by Pasta Polo, games, an 80s theme and music, ERH staff got a well-deserved break and heard Kazemzadeh’s story of her July 17 stay at the hospital.

Kazemzadeh had taken a bad fall when she landed at the Port Moody hospital for a seven hour stay.

During her time waiting for X-rays and treatment, Kazemzadeh said she was treated kindly by every person she came across.

Doctors, nurses were kind

And while horror stories of long hospital waits amidst staff shortages abound in the media, Kazemzadeh said her experience was drastically different from the traditional narrative.

“I lost count of how many times the staff comforted me or asked if I needed a blanket or pillow,” said Kazemzadeh, who said despite the staff shortage “almost every healthcare worker that I interacted with took the time to ask about my day, my health and my situation.

“ I felt very well-taken care of — from the admin that gave me a mask to the nurse that pushed my wheelchair to medical imaging and the nurse who taught me, very patiently, how to use crutches and walked me to my car.”

In fact at times, it felt “like a spa,” said Kazemzadeh.

“That’s how calm and caring everyone was. I knew I was in good hands and the level of respect and admiration I have for our healthcare workers has grown tenfold.”  

Cancer treatments difficult

Kazemzadeh said her “heart broke” watching “how hard everyone was working and were being accommodating under so much stress with patients being unkind or unreasonable at times.”

In addition to Kazemzadeh, who works at the Coquitlam branch on Barnet Highway, 15 RBC employees came out to volunteer for the event.

DJ Arash J, who also works in finance, insisted on spinning some discs for the event even though he’s undergoing difficult cancer treatments.

Arash was diagnosed with a combination of stage 3 Non Hodgkin Lymphoma and Grey Zoon Lymphoma six months ago and is undergoing chemotherapy after emergency surgery.

Since his move to Canada 10 years ago, Arash has been a huge contributor to health care by volunteering and donating his time and raising awareness.

Meanwhile, ERH staff appreciated the thoughtfulness of the special appreciation event.

“This event addresses the need for recognition in this challenging time where patient care remains at the forefront of ERH staff’s work,” stated Megan Tait, manager of Clinical Operations for BC Emergency Health Services.


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