Twenty three year old Chris, a Los Angeles native, came in to see Chester Griffiths, MD, at the Pacific Eye, Ear & Skull Base Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute, for chronic sinus issues along with a deviated septum. After meeting with Dr. Griffiths and his team, Chris was scheduled for nasal sinus surgery. His mother was incredibly grateful and sent along this patient story.
Dear Dr Griffiths,
I wanted to write to you to tell you the experience at your clinic from the other side of the desk. Most recently, you performed surgery on my son, Christopher. We were all nervous and, basically all suffer from anxiety. Chris went and saw you a few times before the surgery and continued to tell me how he felt fully supported and comfortable even though he was scaredto have his 10th surgery. As you know, it’s not just physical, it’s a complex psychological life event as well. It’s not just about the surgery, but the anxieties, uncertainties and thoughts of things going wrong, that are hard to deal with. All that said, I wanted to write to let you know how I felt as a mother and a patient.
In the days before his surgery, Chris became very nervous and full of anxiety. Every time he asked me questions, I told him to call Paul, in your office. Every time he called, he was met with patience, kindness and answers to every question that he had. No matter what – Paul or whomever answered the phone, was kind. This is a big deal because a lot of other doctors and offices, have voicemail, don’t answer the phone, don’t get back to you – yet, your staff answered all the questions and made it easy for Chris to call.
On the day of the surgery, as always, the staff treated Chris with great respect and kindness. He was ushered in by the nurse and he felt absolutely confident that all was well. My husband and I sat in your reception area for about an hour and a half waiting. We sat in the surgical chairs directly across from the office staff, who were answering the phones. They never missed a beat – the phone rang, they picked up and were kind to each and every caller. If they couldn’t answer a question, they found someone who did. If they couldn’t answer the caller’s question immediately, they said they would call back and THEY DID. I was completely shocked at that level of customer service and how they treated everyone who walked in that door, like a family that needed to be cared for. Truly great at their jobs and they actually seemed to like what they were doing. I know that booking appointments, making changes, working with the general public is not an easy task. I’ve had those jobs – they are not easy jobs at all.
On the same day, a nun brought in an old man in a wheelchair. It was clear that this older man was not in good shape. She went to the desk to check in and found out that she mixed up the appointment time. She thought the appointment was for 1pm – it was actually for 10am. Now, we all make mistakes and these things happen. But your staff, looked at her and said, oh no – let’s see what we can do! She was embarrassed and clearly upset with herself. Your staff treated her with such respect; came back within minutes and said – we can fit you in, no problem – everyone makes mistakes. No shame, guilt or blaming. It was just a fact and they handled it with grace.
In closing, I just want you to know that from start to finish, your staff is the best. The front desk, the nurses, the practitioners, everyone. Your employees are excellent and at the top of their game.
Thank you so much for caring about the experience that everyone gets at your clinic. It really makes a difference.
PS. I wish I knew everyone’s name at the desk to thank them personally in this letter, but I don’t. Please make sure that they see this message and accept my thanks.