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A friend of mine is a local EMT and patients would demand to get taken to hospitals closer to the beltway, even though they were right next to SG. In realitiy a job is more or less a job in this market (and commuting sucks in the DC region, worst traffic in the nation).
I have lived close to SH for more than 20 years. I have worked there and been a patient there. While it has historically had some bad times (the term Shady Grave is 20 years old and stems from some problems they had with their ED), over the years they have made some dramatic improvements and on the whole most of the departments are very good. Depending on what is wrong with you (ie if you are a trauma then you definitely need to be elsewhere) their ED is actually very good. They also have a peds ED that is one of the better ones around. Their med-surg floor and short stay units are again very good overall and I would actually opt to stay in SG's med-surg unit rather than the local trauma hospital's med-surg unit (I've stayed in both). Also SH has a new maternity/mother baby unit (don't know what they call it) that is awsome.
Basically, what I'm saying is that old names (especially ones as good as Shady Grave) tend to stick around for some time but are not necessarily are a true indication of the current standards of care. So you know, I have no particular loyalty to SG. I do not work there, but like I said I do live in the area and have seen the improvements they have made. I certainly would not rule out SG as an employer if I were in the market for a job.
All I'm saying is, go there and check it out for yourself. Shadow, talk to the staff and stay objective.
I currently work at SG in the ED and started there as a new grad straight out of school. I LOVE the people I work with and could not ask for a better group of nurses or doctors to work with. For the first year and a half, I worked night shift and have since switched to 11-11 so I have interacted with day shift and night shift. There of course are all types of different personalities, some good some bad, but that is everywhere you go. I have had a great 2 years there and have learned a lot. I've seen a lot of improvements over the past 2 years and we continue to grow. We are a designated stroke center and STEMI center with above average ratings on our door to balloon times. We helped to initiate a hypothermia protocol on qualifying resuscitated codes, and even advanced our treatment with septic patients using a new Pre Sep Catheter that monitors SVO2 and CVP. With those readings, we follow a protocol that has had proven better outcomes in this patient group. Pretty cool stuff, and we continue to advance. We see a lot of patients and acuity at times i very high but it teaches you to prioritize and helps you learn. I would HIGHLY recommend a job here in the ED.