As document control administrator for UT Health East Texas, Steven Rhame’s interaction with the health system focuses largely on paperwork, trying to ensure the entire market — all 10 hospitals and 90-plus clinics — are adhering to the same policies.
When Rhame’s 10-year-old son, Ransom, recently landed in the hospital following a tonsillectomy, he saw a different side of the health system, one which touched his heart.
“It makes me proud to know that this is my hospital and my coworkers,” Rhame said.
Rhame said after Ransom experienced some bleeding following a tonsillectomy, he brought him to the UT Health Tyler emergency department as instructed by Ransom’s doctor, who met them at the ER that night and decided to admit Ransom for observation.
“They immediately took us to an ER room, started an IV and we were upstairs on sixth floor pediatric unit at 10:45 p.m. — all of that happened in 46 minutes,” Rhame said in awe. “That has to be the smoothest ER visit I’ve ever seen.”
Once they arrived on the pediatric unit and during Ransom’s three-day stay, Rhame said he was constantly impressed by his son’s care.
“I was just so thankful because they treated my son the same way I treat my son,” said Rhame, who was a nurse at UT Health North Campus Tyler before he moved into his current role in 2018. “I’ve been a nurse for 20 years. That kind of patient engagement you cannot teach in nursing school.”
Rhame said Ransom’s team of caregivers took time to connect with him one-on-one, even bowling with Ransom in the hallway, which lifted his spirits since he missed his Cub Scout pack’s bowling party while he was hospitalized.
“That kind of engagement, you can’t teach that,” Rhame said. “You can teach someone nursing principles and medications and safe nursing practices, but you cannot teach someone how to connect with people.”