Change on thing, change everything

Ani - Seattle, Washington
Entered on September 5, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness, place

I work at a hospital and I believe that we are the best place to receive care. I don’t take this belief in the place where I spend so many hours, for granted. My commitment to do the best job I can each day and the actions that follow are strengthened by the people around me – By my team, by my boss, by every person that I have the opportunity to encounter. In addition to our day to day job responsibilities, our ability to recognize each other, to hold ourselves with pride and with an acknowledging smile, does impact each patient we serve and the well being of our organization as a whole.

Ultimately, everything….each action, has an impact on the patient and their experience here. How I treat each patient or visitor I encounter, of course. But how I treat my colleagues is of equal importance. When each of us takes the time to recognize and acknowledge a small yet important action, effort or outcome, it does make a difference. Change one thing, Change everything – a statement I have incorporated as a core belief that I heard from a woman who lost her son to a hospital acquired infection. Victoria Nahum’s son went into a hospital with a fractured femur and died. But he did not die from what he entered the hospital from his fractures which healed. He died from a hospital acquired infection. Mrs. Nahum reminded me and anyone listening to her speech that patients come to us vulnerable and trusting. And that each choice we make, even the smallest choice, can change everything.

So how great it is to know that when we take a moment to reflect back something positive we observe, acknowledge someone’s effort, we set in motion a positive addition to the environment. We affect the collective impact of our team, which ultimately can change the course for another human beings life…the lives of those we serve, those working along side of us….anyone really that we encounter throughout the course of our day. Perhaps, even, at the end of the very long path of cause and effect, change everything. A sincerely expressed sentence of gratitude or reflection of a job well done, does make a difference even if we can not see the immediate effect of our acknowledgement.

I ask you to consider the power of the day to day recognition expressed out loud. A smile, a sincerely felt and expressed thank you, a high five for a job well done, can be just the lift a colleague needs….to feel appreciated, to be inspired to do an even better job, to treat someone else then with the same appreciation. Ultimately, a happier employee creates a better environment for all of us and most importantly for our patients…which leads to a collective knowing that our hospital is the best place to work and the best place for any of us to receive care.

Powerful for something that doesn’t even cost a cent.