Sitting in the Emergency Ward at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital



I spent the greater part of the afternoon parked on a seat in the emergency waiting room of the Carleton Place Hospital. No, I was not ill, but someone in my family was. I hear some complain about the lengthy wait in our hospital–or they would rather go to Almonte. After sitting there for a few hours I was amazed what goes on in our hospital, and how much they do with so little staff and less resources than other places.

The first thing I noticed was you need a “tough” skin, and have to be able to deal with patients who might not be as appreciative as they should be. I got to have a nice long conversation with our Beckwith Fire Chief, Bill McGonegal, and meet Rosemary Jones who is now in charge of fund raising for the hospital. You couldn’t do that in a busy Ottawa Hospital. In fact have I have waited for almost 6 hours in emergency at one of those “city hospitals” after being rushed by ambulance from the Carleton Place Hospital.

Some of the nurses and doctors that work in the Carleton Place Hospital have started from the bottom. There is a “family” feel to the place, and most of the staff have a much wider range of responsibilities then they would in a larger hospital. Watching these folks work it didn’t take long for me to realize they deserve so much more. Did we give up our “power” years ago by relinquishing the obstetrics unit to Almonte? Probably so–but you can’t cry over spilled milk now.

What is maddening is that the provincial funding process is highly flawed, and subject to manipulation behind the scenes. The province is coming to a head over whether to spend billions renovating and rebuilding dozens of aging hospitals, or face the political consequences of closing some forever.

The trend now is to try to reduce traffic at hospitals in favour of primary care and home care. Good idea? Maybe, but in my mind we have a ways to go when it comes to people being at home when very ill. Some results could be poorer health, or perhaps even death. I have experienced it first hand, and things need to change in palliative care.

Carleton Place is now impacted by an aging hospital. Many rural health facilities are now more integrated, with ambulatory care, public health, home care, and other services housed in the same structure as the acute-care in-patient units. In case you didn’t realize it, we now have a health care hub in our community.

If they decided to close our hospital it would have a huge impact in our community. So, before you complain again about the service in our Carleton Place Hospital, sit down and watch what really goes on. I did today and wondered how much more the province can keep cutting funds to our hospitals. But then again, maybe you are right to complain about slow service. Of course you are right, rural people don’t need healthcare. Or do we?




About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. Pleasure meeting you Linda, thank you for your kind words about the hospital. I am amazed everyday at the excellent care provided by the CPDMH staff and volunteers. We are blessed to have this small but mighty community hospital at our service 24/7 365 days a year!


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