Monday, September 20, 2010

How you Feeling...In Your Shoes on 4 East

Last week I had another great In Your Shoes on 4E where I worked for Becky B. As always, it is eye opening for me. The amount of effort it takes with each patient encounter is really amazing. It is sometimes difficult to imagine until you are 'In the Shoes' of someone else.

Becky and the team provided great direction for me. They showed such a great team effort with each other among the nurses, PCAs and other support staff. Their handoffs at change of shift were like watching a well-orchestrated play or musical. After each patient handoff, the nurse leaving would find their next nurse partner and 'handoff' their next patient. Becky said the nurse leaving usually takes the lead to find the next nurse. I understand that this coordination of care is key in any healthcare system but it does not always play out that way.

Of course I once again found myself using the insulation gowns which are always very heat intensifying. I walked into one patent's room and asked how she was doing. She responded, 'how do you think I'm doing...terrible! That's why I am her in the hospital.' Then she immediately followed with, 'but I am comfortable, thank you for asking'. She gave me a huge grin and it made my day. Of course it should be obvious that people are not in the hospital because they want to be in a hospital. They are there to get the care and treatment they need. And that is why we are here.

I had dinner with some of our executive team members the other day. Bob F. said our physicians are great, our nurses are wonderful, we have a great support team at the hospital and pretty good facilities and equipment. But our patients, our staff, volunteers and our associates will see our greatest difference by the way we care for one another. That's what will always make us shine. And I saw that true focus on caring when I worked on 4 East. Thank you Becky, Angela and the 4East team. It was a great experience.

Thank you to those of you who would like me to do In Your Shoes with you. I have upcoming sessions with our PBX Operators, one of our surgeons (no, I will not be performing surgery) and our nurse navigators. I look forward to hearing your In Your Shoes stories. The experience will certainly give you a greater perspective.

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