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May 9, 2006 > National Hospital Week Celebrates Miracles

National Hospital Week Celebrates Miracles

Washington Hospital Marks Another Landmark Year in Health Care

If you stop making progress, you’re moving backwards. This principle is a tenet of Washington Hospital. Patients demand better and better care; growing medical technology demands health care institutions keep up.

During National Hospital Week, May 7-13, Washington Hospital celebrates the people inside its walls who commit themselves each day to moving forward, providing better service each day to patients and visitors alike.

The theme of this year’s Hospital Week is "This is our hospital—Where Miracles Happen Every Day." This sentiment is especially fitting given Washington Hospital’s participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) 100,000 Lives Campaign, which was launched in December 2004 as the first ever national initiative to save 100,000 lives by June 2006.

Washington Hospital’s participation is only one example of your local community hospital’s commitment to superlative patient care. From the resounding success of 2004’s Measure FF -- the general obligation bond that authorizes critically needed expansion and seismic upgrades for Washington Hospital -- to the one-year anniversary of Washington Hospital’s InHealth cable channel geared towards educating District residents about important health matters, your hospital has remained on the forefront of what matters most to you.

But it’s the 100,000 Lives Campaign that underscores the heart of Washington Hospital -- the health and well-being of its patients. There are more than 2,100 people in the hospital -- from employees to volunteers -- that make up the hospital’s heart.

On the front lines of patient care are the hospital’s more than 575 nurses who coordinate all aspects of that care. As team leaders, registered nurses (R.N.) guide the work of licensed vocational nurses (L.V.N.), certified nursing assistants (C.N.A.), unit clerks and orthopedic technicians. Other nurses, called clinical specialists, who must meet educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all registered nurses, are available to consult and advise in specialty areas, such as mother-baby care.

In addition to nursing staff, the hospital employs a number of different highly qualified professionals. Therapists and technicians, with years of specialized training and experience, staff various departments, such as: Physical Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, X-ray, Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, EEG (electroencephalography, or testing the brain’s electrical activity), EKG (electrocardiography, or testing heart function), Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy. Most of the skilled people working in these areas offer care and services to patients who have been admitted to the hospital, as well as outpatients referred by physicians.

While the Washington Hospital Medical Staff members and Washington Hospital’s nursing staff are essential components to the hospital’s mission, there are also many more people behind the scenes that help make the hospital what it is.

From the Washington Hospital Service League volunteer who greets you in the hospital’s main lobby to the technicians in the Engineering Department who ensure that the power is always on -- there are employees and volunteers there around the clock to help ensure that your experience in the hospital is the best it can be.

If a patient or family member is in need of counseling or comfort during their stay in the hospital, spiritual care volunteers are on-call around the clock to offer their support.

Hospital staff dietitians offer nutritional counseling. The Food and Nutritional Services Department staff members ensure patients receive meals that fit their dietary requirements.

There are so many special people working behind the scenes at Washington Hospital. These people include staff members employed in Admitting, Communications, Engineering, Environmental Services, Finance, Food and Nutrition Services, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Information Systems, Materials Management, Medical Records, Security, and Volunteer Services departments -- just to name a few.

If you visit Washington Hospital for care May 7-13 or even visit a friend, remember to say thanks to the volunteer who helps you get where you need to go or the staff member who helps make sure your stay is a bit more comfortable.

To learn more about Washington Hospital’s participation in the 100,000 Lives Campaign or would like to find out more about expansion and seismic upgrades to the hospital made possible by Measure FF, visit and click on "About Us."

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