“My husband arrived on your emergency room doorstep with what appeared to be stroke symptoms. His speech was slurred and he was beginning to lose the use of his right leg and foot. He was quickly helped into a wheelchair by the volunteer Diane, and right after her Manuel helped me complete necessary paperwork. RN Bruce and Dr. Bowers in the ER helped us get a CAT scan. Then shortly after that, surgery with Dr. Jon Ledlie and Dr. Renfro. Then the clinical liaison Karen and the pre-op nurse Donna. And on the sixth floor, Debra and Donna. Every place we turned, we found smiles and words of comfort to ease our fears and guide (not send) us to various locations in the building. May each of you know how grateful we are. A difficult time was eased and made as pleasant as possible.”
In the early years of her career as a nurse, I often heard my extremely capable daughter-in-law express how overwhelming it was to have charge over so many patients. In her words, “A large part of why nurses can do the stressful work they do is that they are emotionally and mentally supported by a team.”
The story above is a beautiful illustration of what teamwork looks like from the outside. However, what’s even more amazing is when that teamwork is felt from the inside. One of the most effective things you can do as a leader is set the status quo for back up. Everyone has a load of patients and duties to carry and perform every shift, but the difference between drudgery and a great 8 or 12 hours or more, is knowing people have your back.
So regardless of the load you are carrying as the leader, your challenge this week is to take one moment a day to show someone you’ve got their back.
Not just a, “let me know if there’s anything I can do,” but an, “Hey. Let me get that for you, don’t worry about it”.
These little actions are the foundational fillers of leadership.
Good luck this week!
The above story is contributed by Cindy Kidwell of Trinity Mother Frances Health System. In the book, “What’s Right in Health Care.”