Inspiring Stories

Nurse Manager Becomes Patient, Is Wowed by Care at Methodist

Published: Aug. 3, 2018

Linda Quinn knows a thing or two about exceptional health care.

Linda, 64, is the outpatient specialty clinic nurse manager at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, Iowa. 

“I expect our staff to really treat patients well, like we want to be treated ourselves,” said Linda, who has been a manager for 44 of her 45 years as a nurse.

So when she came to Methodist Hospital’s GI Endoscopy Center in May for an endoscopic ultrasound, a relatively routine procedure, she had plenty of experience to draw from. 


A Patient With High Standards

Linda was at the hospital for about four hours, but the care she received made a lasting impact.

“I was exceptionally impressed and I have a high standard of expectation,” she wrote in a letter to Methodist Hospital System. “You should be very proud of this department!”

Reached by phone, she was happy to share more about her experience.
“From the time I walked in the door,” she said, heaping detailed praise on the registration staff, nurses and Dr. Michael Schafer, who performed the procedure. 

Everyone had a friendly smile and offered to help. When her sister entered the hospital after dropping off Linda, someone was quick to help her find her way. And when an earlier procedure ran long causing Linda to wait, a nurse was quick to explain the situation and how much longer it would be. 

“That’s the kind of stuff, to me, I expect,” Linda said. “But when it all goes together like it did for my visit, it was impressive.”

Doctor Blends Humor and Confidence

While Linda had compliments to go around, one member of the staff stood out to her.

“That anesthesiologist. That’s the one who was most impressive," she said. "He was kind of funny, and friendly beyond belief. He told me he would take good care of me, and I totally knew he would. He gave me a lot of confidence in his ability without bragging.”

Dr. Mark D’Agostino, known as “Dag” to his colleagues, has been at Methodist since 1989.

“I started out practicing anesthesiology and pain management,” he said. “So I did a lot of chronic pain, cancer pain and end-of-life care. What I found out early on is people, believe it or not, want to laugh. They want somebody to understand where they’re coming from and find something that lightens it all up.”

Dr. D’Agostino’s favorite part of the job is applying the science he has mastered with “compassion and humor.”

“My deal is humor. That’s one of the tools I use,” he said. “If I can find something funny, common ground, it relaxes people.”  

"He told me he would take good care of me, and I totally knew he would. He gave me a lot of confidence."

Linda Quinn
Methodist Hospital patient

Routine Excellence for GI Endoscopy Staff

Stories like Linda’s aren’t a surprise for Amber Barker, BSN, RN, but they’re always special.

“I mean, that's pretty cool,” said Barker, who has managed the staff at Methodist Hospital’s GI Endoscopy Center for nearly two years. “I know that they take excellent care of our patients. But to actually get to see a patient have that sort of reaction to what I know that they do every day.”

She describes her staff as a “ray of light.”

“They kind of exude their enthusiasm and their love and passion for their work,” she said.

She added: “I feel lucky and blessed to be a part of this team of people who care deeply about our patients.”

Dr. D’Agostino also made it clear that it’s a team effort that leads to the type of care Linda received.

“I was just part of that care,” he said. “It’s a big team. If somebody gets singled out, it’s really because everybody’s doing something. They depend on me. I depend on them.”

“Amazing” Care at Methodist

Linda had never been to Methodist Hospital before, but she didn’t miss a beat when asked if she’d return: “Oh yes, definitely.”

Even her sister remarked about how impressed she was with the experience.

“I’m telling you, everybody there was amazing,” Linda said.

You can read the letter Linda Quinn wrote to Methodist Health System CEO Steve Goeser detailing her experience and offering specific thanks to members of the staff. 

About the Author

Patrick Smith, a content strategist for Methodist Health System, has over a decade of experience writing and editing for newspapers and other publications. He enjoys meeting new people and telling stories that highlight Methodist's mission to deliver The Meaning of Care.

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