20 years of Euroclinic, 20 years one Family!
On the occasion of the 20-year anniversary since the establishment of the Athens Euroclinic and the special anniversary edition of Medilife 24, the Euroclinic Group magazine, we took the initiative to interview members of the staff, who have been in the Euroclinic Family for 20 years.
Medical, nursing and administrative staff share their thoughts, experiences and emotions from the last 20 years…
S.G, Nursing Assistant, Operating Rooms
“When I was on the 6th floor, we were facing severe cases. I remember A., a young woman who was a chemist and had cancer. She was dying but she didn’t want to have chemotherapy because due to her profession, she was aware of the consequences. Her name was A. and she died during my shift. It was the first time I cried after the death of a patient, since she was a young woman. In the end, when her relatives left, her sisters had written on a Euroclinic brochure, which I still have at home, ‘Thank you for taking care of our A.’”
E.G, Administrative Employee, 1st Floor Nursing Ward Reception
“It was midday in 1997, just before Euroclinic’s establishment. I was at the office with the Chairman of the then Athens Maternity Hospital, Mr. Georgopoulos, and Mr. Paschoudis, Gynecologist, and we were getting ready for the sale of the maternity hospital. The sale was concluded and they were brainstorming regarding the hospital’s name. Mr. Paschoudis said, ‘We need to think of something European,’ and they said ‘Euroclinic’ and then I added, ‘We need to keep something from the Athens Maternity Hospital,’ and they came up with the Athens Euroclinic name.”
V.G, Director of the Internal Medicine Clinic
“Many memories come to mind, going back 22 years, since April 1997, when I first started working for the newly-established Athens Euroclinic. I was present at its birth from the then Athens Maternity Hospital, actively supported its first steps, lived through its turbulent adolescence and have been celebrating its adulthood ever since, filled with pride for its course in the healthcare sector. Being the Director of the Internal Medicine Clinic offered me intense and creative times with great vision, not only personal but collective, as well as days of reflection and solitude. I saw patients become healthy, associates become ill and that’s when you realize the vicious cycle of health. I have worked with excellent scientists and dedicated nurses, and I have built relationships that last for a lifetime. When I started out, I had 4 little kids and now I have grandchildren. I said farewell to my parents, when their life circle ended smoothly, as well as to my brother, who died prematurely, dear colleagues and friends. Euroclinic is a big part of my life and not just my career. I wish Euroclinic always keeps up with cutting-edge technology and at the same time preserves its people-centric attitude, which has always been its main competitive edge.”
D.K, Nursing Assistant, 4th Hospital Floor
“I was once in the ward at night, on the 4th floor, and I heard loud voices. The voices were coming from the 3rd floor. I heard, ‘Help, help.’ Without second thought, I fled to the 3rd floor, to check where the commotion was coming from. I went to room 303, where I heard the voices. In the first bed there was a lady who had just suffered a cardiac arrest. I immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Until my colleagues called a code blue and before the doctors came, I continued to resuscitate her and finally the patient regained her senses in my hands and she started to have a pulse. I felt awesome. The next day, as I went in to check in on her, I felt exhilarated when a colleague told her, ‘Grams, this is the girl who saved you,’ and I felt so happy that she was alive. Also, a similar incident took place in another shift of mine and I managed to resuscitate the patient again. It is an amazing feeling to save a life. You shiver because you actually made it.”
L.K, Breast Center Supervisor
“8 years ago, I was involved in a car accident. When I was taken out of the ambulance to be transferred to the Emergency Department, I was flooded with tears, not because I was hurting, but because of what I saw. Everybody from Euroclinic were at the entrance, waiting for me. Their concern and warmth were overwhelming. Finally, I realized that my family is extended. The actual people of Euroclinic is what makes the difference and it is always special. I hope this family stays connected for many years to come.”
M.K, Trainee Nurse, Emergency Department
“After working for many years at Euroclinic, I now consider it my second home. I hear the same from the patients, daily. They say, ‘When I come in, it feels like coming home, I feel warmth, safety and trust.’ This says it all. The doctors and staff work tirelessly every day. It may look like a small hospital, but in reality it is very big. We wish and hope that this image and reputation will continue. It is up to all of us to impart it to the next generation of doctors, nurses and staff.”
M.M, Nursing Assistant, ICU
“There once was a girl, almost 25 years old, who had surgery and needed a blood transfusion and she was in critical condition. The days went by and she began to recover and stabilize. I was really happy for her, because I later found out that she recovered despite the difficulties she had for the two months when she was hospitalized. I have learned that she is still well and she has become a mother.”
E.M, Administrative Employee, Patient Accounts
“Many years ago, there was a patient who had to undergo medical tests. He was deaf-mute and he had difficulty communicating both with me and the doctors. I tried to help him, he waited patiently and saw me struggling to help him as best as possible. I assume that since he paid with coins, he must have been a beggar or he was paid in a lot of coins. After almost a week, he returned and gave me 2 stuffed animals as a gesture of gratitude for the help I gave him.”
S.M, Nursing Assistant, Catheterization Laboratory-Angiography
“In 2001, one Saturday morning, I was working on the 5th floor and around 11 o’clock the General Nursing Supervisor asked me to come to the 1st floor because she needed me. Once I was on the 1st floor, I opened the door, went in and saw cameras, lights; they were filming some series. The Supervisor called me and told me, ‘The director wants to talk to you.’ I told the director that I hadn’t done it before and he told me that they needed a supporting actor. They wanted me to play a doctor and help them shoot a scene. They told me not to be concerned since they would all help me and we filmed the scene 5-6 times until the director was satisfied. I played a dying girl’s physician and I defibrillated her and brought her back to life.”
I.S, Transport Nurse Supervisor, Emergency Department
“Two years ago, I had the honor with another colleague from Euroclinic to participate as a torchbearer in the transportation of the Olympic Flame at Kallimarmaro Stadium during the Olympic Games held in Rio, since I usually participate in the annual marathon. It was a very emotional moment for me, I felt joy and pride to represent the Athens Euroclinic.”
E.T, Assistant Accountant, Accounts Department
“One of the most significant events at Euroclinic was the 1999 earthquake. After the earthquake, we left the building and waited for instructions from the Management. We didn’t know if we could leave or whether our families were safe, since there was no way to communicate. The Management decided to provide an amount of money as assistance and an additional amount as an interest-free loan to every employee for settling their obligations. I believe that this was a grand gesture and the company showed us its true colors instead of ignoring us. When you care for your staff, you also care for their families. This proves the family culture of Euroclinic, we were one big family and this is very important for all staff.”
N.G, Security Supervisor
“20 years ago, I was working for the Interamerican Group and I was given the opportunity to work as a security officer for the newly-established company of the Euroclinic Group. The Human Resources Manager who hired me introduced me as the Head of Security around the company. The first person we met was the General Manager and after the introduction he told me something unforgettable. He said, ‘What is Euroclinic?’ I couldn’t answer and after a while he told me himself that Euroclinic is its people. This has stayed with me after 20 years. Even after the ups and downs, I have kept this part. Euroclinic is its people, for better or worse, we are in this together. Everybody has felt it and this is our difference from the other private hospitals and what makes us special. We are a hospital with a soul, its PEOPLE.”
G.D, Director of the Orthopedic Clinic
As-salamu alaykum. Patient with tibial comminuted fractures. An old patient from Perama referred him to me. He was young, around 25 years old, and he mentioned he was a seaman. He was timid, and so was his black-clad mother, who was holding his hand with the IV. The surgery he had to undergo was considered major. The hospitalization was very expensive. I was disturbed with fear. I seriously doubted he could pay. “Do you have private insurance?” I asked hesitantly. He didn’t. He told me, though, that his captain might pay his debt.
“Why don’t you check with NHS?” I asked him to help him out.
“I’m in a hurry, doctor. If I don’t return to the ship in three months, I will lose my job.”
I operated on him immediately and a little before his discharge, I tried to find out what would happen with the expenses.
“Did the captain take care of it?”
“Not yet, doctor”
I felt my stomach twitching. The bill, based on the complexity of the surgery, would be over the top.
“I won’t charge you anything,” I told him. “Pay only for the hospitalization”.
“No, I want to pay you for your effort.”
I didn’t want to insult him. So, I only charged him for a minor surgery. €250. I also called the Accounts Department and asked them the best possible discount as a favor. He came for a follow-up two weeks later.
“Did the captain take care of it?” I asked again.
“He did,” he said relieved.
“Are you embarking on a bulk carrier or a tanker?” I asked him curiously.
“Doc, I work on yachts, not tankers.”
“Is it a big yacht?”
“Yes, very big.”
“Esmeralda? Alpha? Starry Night?”
“Then you work on Latsi’s Alexandros.”
“Is there anything bigger than that?”
“There is, he said. Fahd’s yacht. It anchors in Elefsina at wintertime.”
I was left speechless. I had charged the king of Saudi Arabia €250.
I told myself that I have a big heart!