Want to make a good impression at you nursing workplace? I have worked in hospitals all my adult life, and I am about to impart a secret that will help you get ahead, every time. When you use it, let me know how you make out. All I ask in return is that you share this blog with as many friends as you can, and consider adding as a subscriber. For an added bonus, look at the fan page for my book about Hospital Care in Nepal. 500 photos, some videos and commentary on health care in Low Income Countries.
There is a secret group of employees at your hospital
They are unseen, and often unrecognized, but you can’t do your job without them. It’s the housekeeping staff.
Once I had a student group at a Catholic Hospital in the Northeast. I like and respect Catholic healthcare ( yes, I am Catholic myself and I do go to church. Yesterday’s sermon was about Abraham and his obedience to God. we were all happy that Abraham’s son got off the hook, even though it was last-minute if you ask me).
But I digress – back to the Catholic Hospital
The C.E.O. of the place was a Catholic nun. Wonderful person. Truly. She had this amazing ability to appear on the ward at odd times just whenever there was some sort of conflict happening with a patient or family. It was like magic. Uncanny.
I discovered it by accident
Turns out that the housekeeping staff all had cell phones and she’d given them her cell number. The housekeepers there were all longtime employees – we are talking thirty years or more in some cases. The CEO would host them for breakfast now and again. The CEO always had a good word for me, because I had long ago adopted a policy to be nice to housekeeping. There was one who was Polish-American and I sang her my favorite Polish Christmas Carol.
Now – I have never seen such an effective under-the-radar surveillance system at any other place. But whether this kind of informal network exists or not, you can do your self a favor by adopting one simple practice. Learn each housekeeper’s name, say hello to them every day, and be friendly.
That’s all you need to do. that’s the tip for the day. I think especially for a new nurse, a hospital setting is overwhelming and there are so many people to figure out, that it is easy to retreat into a small shell and only interface with people who are above you in the food chain somehow.
try it for a week, and let me know how you make out….
and yes, if you are applying for a job, be kind to every person along the way, including such persons as the receptionist in the Human Resources Office. Even if they do not have the CEO’s cell phone number…..