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Dr. Hal Richardson Is this you?

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Attorney at law

Posted on July 2nd, 2016

I took my dying father-in-law into PIH emergency because he was dying on cancer. He, my father in law, was in hospice and my husband and his family had thought they were ready for his passing. Dr. Richardson, an ex-military officer walked into the curtain draped, busy ER room looking at the chart in hand, then asked. What is your name? At first, we were a little taken aback by this approach, then he introduced himself. With the confused look on the family faces. he said he dose it this way to insure that he has the correct chart and was addressing the correct patient. With a strong military bearing. Making direct eye contact he shook my fathers hand. It was at this time that he turned turned my father in law hand over and commented on a weather worn, nearly faded tattoo on his forearm. At the same time I noticed he was looking around our cubicle and it's monitors. Again, in a matter of fact questioning manner he asked. What is it that he can do for you tonight ? What is your emergency? We related that my father in law has pancreatic cancer in it's last stages and that he is in 'hospice" and the family has/had agreed on comfort care. No heroic measures. However, the family panic and called the paramedics who followed their protocol and brought him into the emergency room. After speaking directly to me father. Dr,Richardson asked him. Sir.What is it that you want me to do? He smiled and said nothing, except what ever my children wants. It was at this point that Dr. Richardson did something that I'd never expected to see in an emergency room. He asked us all of us what is that "We all wanted"? First addressing my age mother law. He then asked what is it that tthe Oncologist/cancer doctor had told us about his prognosis./ What to expect? Sorry to say, we all came up with nothing. We all had no idea what to expect. Dr. Richardson then said that this is not rare. Physician are human and like the rest of us in the culture. Avoid talking about death. He followed by saying, unlike on TV, the process of dying isn't clean an d pretty. People without a strong pain medication often struggle and gasp. He followed by reassuring all of us that our being uncomfortable with this is nothing to be ashamed of and that lots of people and family changes their mind as death approaches. My father in law although weak, finally spoke and said that he wanted to die at home, in his own bed. Dr. Richardson then went around the room.First to my mother, then the rest of us and asked if we were all comfortable with his decision. He said , you all know him better than I and you all know what kind of man and the kind of life he'd led. He then said something that I had never heard before. "Give him permission to move on" After his death four days later was when I finally understood what that statement meant. My father in law, a WW2 combat vet was struggling to stay alive for his beloved wife of 50 years. He was trying to stay alive for all of us. Before the case manager made arrangement for the ambulance to take us back to my father in law home. Dr.Richardson help put a smile on my father in law face by asking him about which theater of war he fought. Which battles and under which commanders. Prior to his discharge he even called him by his old rank. Though the ER was very busy with staff running hear and there putting out medical fires and frequently calling Dr.Richardson away (You must remember, we were in an emergency room and although an initial emergency to us and our family, it was not) he and his staff were very attentive. I would recommend PIH,Dr.Richardson and his staff without any reservation. He is professional, polite, direct and no nonsense. If you want your "emergency" as well as "non emergent condition" addressed at PIH and it's staff. It will be. If you want a touchy feely me generation everyone get a trophy approach (in a true ER/trauma setting), then consider going to see your family doctor. It's an ER

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One Star

Posted on March 1st, 2016

Led a rowdy group of nurses in merry making and completely ignored me and my needs even though Red Light was on and I was yelling for help. I left my cubicle as he was only feet away using my walker as I was 4 from serious spine surgery. He rose up, came at me with arms waving and chased me back into my bed. I never received care and after about 8 hours in the ER an ambulance came for me.

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