Thursday, May 31, 2007

Praise Be Upon... the V.A.??



Today’s intentions: to keep this brief (we’ll see).

While there are plenty of worthy issues to speak of today, I have something a bit particular to mention. It is a story from a viewpoint that is not typically heard. The positive sentiment towards this particular organization is also growing rarer. While my experience may be the exception, it is well worth noting nonetheless.

With that being said, I want to heap unrestricted praise upon the Veterans’ Administration today.

I have been having some medical problems lately, although – thankfully- they have been of little seriousness. However, as a lowly university student, I am without outside medical insurance. So I rely on the service of the James Haley Veterans’ Medical Hospital across from my University of South Florida campus to treat all my health concerns.

You probably don’t hear this positive sentiment often but their service has been absolutely top notch. In the face of scandalous reports emerging from the Walter Reed Medical Center in the past year, my experience proved to be nothing reminiscent of the horror stories that I have been fed. I have been offered co-pay free medical service for two years after my completion of military service because of my Operation Iraqi Freedom contributions. Despite the cost-free nature of my service, I was always examined thoroughly and professionally and received results and follow-ups promptly. I was assigned a case manager who has been receptive to all my phone calls and office visits without the necessitation of appointment. The staff has given me all the reason in the world to believe in their total competence; surely on par with the university’s more costly medical clinic across the street.

My Veterans’ Administration medical experience has been of the utmost comfort and completed with total ease. For an organization that often takes a public bashing, I sure had a differing experience. Hopefully my praise can navigate through the incessant scrutiny directed towards the V.A. and into public light.

1 comment:

Jacob said...

As you may or may not know, both of my parents work at a V.A. hospital. There is an interesting paradox that exists between the bureaucracy/administration and the actual hands on staff such as doctors and nurses. While it seems my parents and their colleagues never shut up about the tyrannical and even incompetent nature of the higher V.A brass, this frustration doesn't appear to affect the work of the majority of the V.A. staff. In fact, the particular V.A. hospital they work at (which opened about 12 years ago) has about 3/4's of their original doctors and nurses still working at the hospital. This number is very high for a group of employees who have such a long list of complaints about their employers.

Working at the V.A. certainly isn't the most prosperous job a health care professional can take. However, I know that my parents and most of the other staff I have seen at the V.A. truly are grateful to the veterans that pass through their doors and are dedicated to giving the highest standard of care, regardless of the constant bureaucratic ineptness that occurs outside of the treatment rooms. In the end, I think the type of people who actually want to work for the V.A. make a large and significant impact on the quality of care and treatment that veterans receive, keeping the doctor (or nurse) - patient relationship free from most of the ills (no pun intended) that currently plague the system.