By Kristin Baird
It’s no secret that small things add up quickly when it comes to the patient experience. Because high-quality and safe care is assumed by the patients and residents, it is often the small acts of kindness that stand out the most.
Throughout my entire healthcare career, it has been the acts of kindness I’ve witnessed that have etched the deepest into my heart. To quote Maya Angelou, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It was as if she wrote this specifically for healthcare workers to keep as a compass. Kindness in the workplace will extend far beyond coworkers to patients, visitors, and staff.
FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
This past week, we lost my beloved aunt. After battling Alzheimer’s for the past few years, Joan needed skilled nursing in the last month of her life. My uncle was distraught over having her go to live in a long-term care community until he saw the love and compassion with which she was treated. He was always made to feel welcome which eased the transition. But when he witnessed the loving and compassionate care, he relaxed, knowing she was in good hands.
When Joan was in her final hours, one of the night nurses stopped in to say her goodbyes. She tenderly stroked Joan’s arm. She shared with my family that in addition to being a nurse, she was also a minister. Hearing this, my cousin asked if she would pray with them. Instead, the nurse/minister asked if she could sing for Joan. With her family surrounding the bed, she sang a beautiful and moving hymn. It soothed every mourning heart in the room.
FOCUS ON THE SMALL THINGS
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” I challenge you today to look around and find a small thing you can do in a great way. The world needs you.
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