Janice’s Urology Story - Pella Regional Health Center

Impressed Over and Over

Janice McDonoughJanice McDonough, resident of Ottumwa, has been dealing with an inherited kidney stone health issue for most of her life but right now she considers herself “stone-free.” But that was not without dedicating some serious time to her most recent issue. In fact, she went through multiple surgeries with urologist Dr. Russ Bandstra to get rid of a large kidney stone that had been causing problems.

Why so many surgeries? Janice explains, “The stone was large and I was given a choice of going to Iowa City for one surgery or to Pella for Dr. Bandstra to work on the stone a little at a time with a shorter recovery each time.”

Janice had recently started a new nursing job and felt that numerous surgeries over time would fit her schedule better. She and her husband Mike also took and instant liking to Dr. Bandstra. She also felt that she would be a patient with a name at Pella Regional, rather than just a number at a larger facility.

“We’d been pleased with Pella in the past and really liked Dr. Bandstra. Dr. Smith, his partner, did one of the surgeries also and he was wonderful too,” shared Janice. “I have Fridays off so we scheduled everything for Friday and then I’d recover over the weekend and be back to work on Monday. His office is typically closed on Fridays, but Dr. Bandstra and his nurse came in for me. I’m sure that was an inconvenience, but I’d never have known that by their actions. It was wonderful for them to be able to accommodate my work schedule.”

“We were impressed over and over while we were there,” said Janice as she looked over to her husband, Mike, who was nodding in agreement. “The staff members don’t tell you how to get somewhere, they take you. And they are pleasant and seem glad to do it. In Surgery, you can tell they have common bond, almost like family. There is an obvious respect for each other.”

Mike added, “All throughout the hospital everyone was professional with how they looked and acted. It didn’t matter if they were doing the cleaning or doing the surgery. You didn’t have to be the patient to appreciate the professional and kind environment.”

After one of the surgeries while Janice was recovering at home, her stent from the kidney to the bladder had some problems. According to Janice the stone’s particles were getting jammed and causing a lot of pain. With that, Janice and Mike once again traveled to Pella Regional to go to the Emergency Department for help. That’s when she found that she appreciated not just the surgery staff, but the entire staff at Pella Regional.

Between the nurses in emergency working together to get the IV started in Janice’s self-described “poor veins” or the helpful technicians in medical imaging making her comfortable while she had her CT, she was impressed. “I never waited, even in Admitting and Lab. I’m not sure that I even used my call light more than once when I was on the patient floor because they so frequently checked on me,” said Janice.

“I’ve been in many hospitals, both working and as a patient, and at Pella Regional it’s how it should be. People who are happy and smiling at each other in the hallways with kindness and genuine caring,” said Janice. “I’m totally sold on Pella Regional.”

When asked if the couple would recommend Pella Regional to others, Janice responded, “We have. We do,” and Mike added, “In fact, we’ve come near insistent about it.”