My First Letter Of Thanks

I had my first letter of thanks yesterday, the first one I have ever had.
It was a lovely simple job, one of those jobs that you tend to do a lot of. The call was to an elderly woman who had maybe collapsed. The problem that faced us was that she had collapsed behind her front door and no-one was able to gain entry.

We never really know what to expect from this sort of job, sometimes the person is fine, they've just fallen over. Sometimes the person is seriously ill and this is the reason behind the collapse. Occasionally the person will have died in the night.

The, also elderly, sister had gone to our patient's house and was unable to raise her. She'd then gone to the police station and they had contacted us.

We arrived to find the police already there, they were waiting for the officers who had the battering ram as there was no other way to get into the flat. An officer had just brought the sister of our patient with him back to the house.

So the door splintered inwards and the police officers entered the flat. We follow them in and listen to see who finds her first.

Thankfully she is alive and lying on the bedroom floor. She's a stick of a thing and well into her late eighties.

We quickly check her over to make sure that she doesn't have any injuries, then pick her up and lay her in bed.

What then follows is little more than a more extensive examination of her and a bit of the old 'chat'.

We talk to her and her sister while checking her blood pressure and the like about such diverse subjects as dead husbands and playing 'knock down ginger', about how out patient hates doctor yet how kind her GP is.

It's nothing unusual, it's nothing that we don't do for all our patients in order to put them at ease.

We arrange the GP to come and visit her and leave.

But somehow a card of thanks makes it's way to us, the sister walked up to the hospital and asked the ambulance crews parked outside to make sure that we got it. So I return to work, look in my letter tray and find the card.

It's a simple little thing, it just says 'thank you', but it means a lot to me.

12 thoughts on “My First Letter Of Thanks”

  1. You are right there, it is great to get thanks. I'm a pharmacist and get thanked rarely. When someone dies there will quite often be an obituary thanking everyone from the undertaker, GP, District Nurses through to the person who cleaned the wards. Not very often is the person who supplied their drugs mentioned. Oh well, I guess we aren't angels 🙂

  2. It is a shame you don't get more thanks but I can imagine you have made some people eternally grateful for helping them and given half the chance they would love to see you again and say thankyou in person. Glad you had some recognition for the great work you do.Thanks Tom


  3. A simple thanks costs very little but means so much. It's a pity more people don't do it. My daughter was taken to A&E and subsequenlty had to re-visit the bandaging clinic a further 12 times. At the end of it all, I bought the nurse who treated her and the A&E doctor who operated on her a box of chocs and a bottle of wine. I know they were “only” doing their job but they did it with kindness and thought to a very frightened 3 year old. They didn't have to be like that, they could've just gone about the task in hand quickly and not cared about my little girl.I saw the doctor 2 weeks after the op in the supermarket and he was kind enough to come over and see how we were.

    Like you Tom, kind and caring, not just a dash in, get job done and dash out again.

  4. Nice.Just curious, how did they make sure you got it, did she have your names and told the ambulance crew at the hospital or did she described you to them???

  5. I have to say, it's a job tracking down the right people when you want to thank them.My cousin died from an asthma attack and the ambulance staff were a godsend to his mum. His mum couldn't give me any details of the people who helped her so I ended up writing about 20 thank you letters specifically thanking the crew who helped my cousin's mum but also generically thanking the ambulance staff for the great work they do.

    I don't know if the letter got to those who helped her but I hope that the letters made a few people feel good about the work they do.

  6. It's not just the card, it's the thought this dear ol' soul went to the trouble of doing this. She has probably experienced a lot in her lifetime and, no doubt, knows what it's like to spend weeks in an air raid shelter. There's something about the older generation that makes the rest of us feel… well… humble – for want of a better word.

  7. I've found its often the simplest little things which mean the most to us. No doubt you've got that card stuck on the inside of your locker.I also just want to say thank you to you Tom and also thank you to all the paramedics, police, fire fighters and those in the armed services who help to keep us safe and well

  8. Glad you got the letter of thanks.I have only ever had one letter delivered to me, and that was because a paramedic in our station lives next door to the patient. My colleague and I were so glad to have received it, it was great to hear that our patient made a good recovery! Oh, and we were tracked down by the patient describing us to her neighbour – I dread to think what she said!

    What I do see a lot of the time are thank you notes – addressed to the ambulance crew and A&E – that have been sent to the hospital. So, no doubt there are many people who do send us thank you notes, it's just that we may not receive them due to the location they have been posted to. After all, how many of the general public know exactly where their ambulance stations are. I work in Glasgow and there are 8 stations – I didn't know where any of them were until I joined the service.

  9. Little old ladies are amazing. I remember from my days on the wards how grateful they could be for the smallest thing, such as a cup of tea at 2am if they couldn't sleep. You'd have thought they'd been given the Crown Jewels.I'm glad someone said thanks, Tom.

  10. So true, I tried to get thanks to my ambulance folks, and never could. I was recovering myself, it was out of town, and I just didn't have the resources to contact them. They are still in my dearest thoughts.Thank you, for all of your patients who wanted to thank you, but couldn't.

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