“A Peaceful, Easy Feeling . . .”

My apologies to the Eagles for the title of this post . . .

Today I went to one of the hospitals I often work at in the region. This is a brand new hospital, built from scratch and opened in September of 2011. I have spent 40 years of my life in hospitals. This hospital is the most beautiful and well-designed medical facility I have ever been in. I love working there.

Most importantly, it is PEACEFUL. The grand windows, which are everywhere, look out upon a rural landscape. Nature abounds on the outside and even inside due to the imagination of the architects. I sit during “down” times in a comfortable chair and look out on the green rolling hills and just relax, decompress, and indeed heal myself. This is a true healing hospital. You can feel it everywhere.

Too many of American hospitals are merely functional boxes. The environment facilitates healthcare delivery but not repair and rejuvenation of the soul, spirit and body. We lost that dimension of hospital care in the late twentieth century when science won out over humanism. Some of us fight mightily to re-introduce care of the person back into our facilities.

While sitting in the hospital today my mind wandered, as it often does, back to Iraq. Every once in a while I was there, I got a few hours off in the mid-morning. I would arise “late” and go out to the coffee shop in my little compound. Armed with coffee and my Kindle (oh, and my weapon), I would sit under the brillant blue, cloudless sky of Iraq and think of nothing except the words in front of me. I found it so quiet, so calming. In reality, we were very close to the flightline. The war jets would scream to and fro every several minutes, the helicopters would swoop in low on their way to the hospital, the generators would hum loudly and incessantly. But to me, right there, right then, it seemed like such “a peaceful, easy feeling”. The mind can find solace and solitude just about anywhere if properly prepared and accompanied by a willing soul.

About Michael Therrien

Physician, teacher, administrator, military officer -- and a few other roles just thrown in to make it interesting!
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