What is the name of the housekeeper that works on your unit (or the Environmental Services department)? Not just your unit, but anywhere in your place of employment?
How about the maintenance worker?
Do you know the names of all the secretaries or ward clerks?
The employee behind the register at the cafeteria? The individuals behind the service area in the cafeteria?
How about the employee or the aide that delivers the food trays to your unit, or anywhere in your establishment?
How about the security officers?
Do you have volunteers that work with you?
Maybe the transportation services?
Do you know any of their names? Why not?
A long time ago I was at a sports banquet (in my former life and career). The guest speaker was a local sports figure that went on to be a very successful business man. His intended message was about taking care of those who take care of you. Success is not something you achieve without help. Attaining your goals requires help, and any and all levels. From the most minuscule act to the most needed assistance. No matter who you are, what you do, how you work, you can’t do it alone.
This message hits home for me. It rings true for every nurse out there, no matter what nursing path you have chosen.
Be kind to those that work with you and around you. You will need their help someday, and they will need yours. Become familiar with them, say hello when you can. Build a rapport with them. Smile when you see them. Help them when they least expect it. The relationship you build will not only make your job and your day that much more enjoyable, it will also make theirs equally beneficial.
Think of it this way. Everyone has a bad day. Everyone has a day where the work just never seems to let up and your overwhelmed with an insurmountable amount of responsibility and tasks. As the day goes on, there is just more and more to get done. Your work day turns into a game of seconds. Every second counts. And you realize the only way you can ‘survive’ is to streamline as much of your day as possible. The more you can get accomplished in the least amount of time elicits the most gain.
And apart from the intended goals that need accomplished, your work environment will be and become so much more enjoyable.
What do you have to lose?
The time you spend growing these relationships will reap great rewards later.
Here’s the scenario that most of us can relate to:
A new admission is down in the ER that needs to make it to your unit.. ASAP. You just discharged a patient from the only available bed on your unit. So the bed and room need cleaned. You need to restock your supplies, clean your equipment, etc. You of course can get this done, but with a little help it can be done quicker, faster, and in much less time.
In the end it’s all about the patient.
So if you’ve done what I’ve suggested, you can simply call up Environmental Services (or housekeeping), get a hold of your assistant, and give them the scoop. With the right set of circumstances you and all those involved can get the job done in the least amount of time.
In the wrong set of circumstances, these tertiary employees will not go above and beyond to help you out. They will have other priorities and other duties they will be taking care of before they can attend to your needs.
Patient care will be hindered and the continuum of care will slow down.
No matter what your position, we all play a part in the bigger picture. Take care of those who take care of you.