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Beyond Duty: A Salute to Patient Ambassador, Sally

Beyond Duty: A Salute to Patient Ambassador, Sally

January 01, 2024


I had the unfortunate need to visit the Burnaby Hospital Emergency room on Christmas Eve. It was an extremely busy late afternoon/evening/night. While all staff members did their jobs efficiently and with care and compassion, I would like to give an extra special commendation to the Patient Ambassador, Sally, who was working the entire time I was in the ER. We arrived at the ER about 4:00pm. Sally greeted us immediately and showed us where to go.

There were a number of things that Sally did for me that night that must be highlighted. I am in the middle of chemotherapy and obviously immunocompromised. Once triaged, Sally found chairs for me and my husband just beyond the main waiting area. There were many people coughing and sneezing and this made me feel far more comfortable.

We saw the signs that said patients should not eat or drink before seeing a doctor but as the wait time grew, I was beginning to feel very weak. I had not eaten since lunch and it was well past 8:00. Sally got permission from the medical staff for me to drink and then shortly after to eat something. It was very cold in the waiting area. Sally went above and beyond….brought me a blanket and then a pillow. These comforts made the 6 hour wait time a bit more bearable. These are the things Sally did for me but I could also see that she treated all the patients with respect, patience, and understanding. She was so good with everyone.

I noticed that she would check in with the patients from time to time to make sure they were ok. While the didn’t make the wait time any shorter, I think it made people aware they had not been forgotten. Sally was particularly good with patients who were getting upset about how long things were taking. That is a skill!

I have had subsequent appointments at the hospital since that night and have seen Sally from time to time. She always has a smile on her face (as much as one can tell through a mask!). She is doing an outstanding job!