The personal touch: Caring for patients and each other
This time of year, as we enjoy holiday time with our loved ones, let’s not forget our patients who need us to treat them like they are family while in our care.
We all work hard and live busy lives, and we’re pulled in many directions. So it’s important that we take time when possible, such as over the holidays, to recharge and enjoy our relatives and our community. However, we have patients and visitors who are spending the good part of their holidays with us at UF Health, and I encourage you to think of yourselves as their surrogate family members.
I’m drawn to the example of a young, terminally ill mother we were caring for this time last year. She asked her nursing team to help ease her transition and peace of mind by helping to set her affairs in order and connect with her relatives to ensure the care of her children. The staff on the unit went out of their way to help the entire family and meet the wishes and emotional needs of their patient beyond the expected medical care and service.
Another recurring example is when our staff members bring in special treats and help patients honor birthdays and holidays that are important to them, and we celebrate with them.
This type of special touch is what we want for our patients during their experience at UF Health. It’s the hospitality and service approach we would want for our loved ones in the same situation.
The relationships with your co-workers are the foundation for this sense of community in the workplace. We sometimes underestimate the importance of the “family” we have here at work. Sometimes it takes a special holiday or reason for celebration, when we have a staff potluck meal and “break bread” or we take time to socialize together, to realize that we’re part of something very special.
UF Health is more than a place in which we provide the latest medical advances, or the highest-tech, life-saving care and expertise. It is a place full of special individuals with a shared passion to improve other people’s lives.
The health care industry draws people who want to make a difference. We are strong because we strive for excellence, we are improving service, we take a team approach, and we are patient- and family-centered and compassionate.
When we care about each other and do our best work, we see results that help us connect the dots. This is evident in the wonderful recognition our teams received this year in our improved four-star out of five rating for quality patient care and excellent clinical outcomes from the University HealthSystem Consortium. This is external validation of the commitment seen in action every day throughout this organization.
Thank you for making a positive difference for your patients and visitors, and for your colleagues in the UF Health family.
UF Health Shands