Day 3: Advocacy

We’re now onto day three of sharing the hospital’s recently updated core values.  The values follow an easy acronym, which should make sense for anyone in our hospital—I CARE. It stands for Integrity, Compassion, Advocacy, Resourcefulness and Excellence. So far we’ve gone over Integrity and Compassion.

Today, I’ll elaborate on our third value, advocacy. It is important that we are not only an advocate for the patient, but also each other and this organization.  If you see something that can be improved, take personal action and initiative to help us find a better way.  If you see a patient not getting everything done in his or her best interest, make a stand and lobby for their well-being.  Whether you are in the hospital or in the community, share the good news about the talents and compassion of your co-workers, our physicians, and our hospital.  Your words are powerful and have great impact.  They can often sway the people who hear them to make a choice to join to our team.

How does advocacy play into your day to day, here at Reston Hospital Center or elsewhere? Is there a specific person (or act) that truly exemplifies what it means to be an advocate?

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6 Responses to Day 3: Advocacy

  1. Maureen E. Townsend says:

    While rounding last week, as patient comments about a staff member, Elsie Kamara, and how she made every effort to make sure that her voice was her about her concerns about some paint that she was experiencing. The patient praised the fact that Elsie was very comforting and made her feel safe. Most important the patient felt that she was being listened to and had her need met. Elsie is a great face for the PCU. She is very unassuming, a hard worker and cares for her patients greatly.

  2. Tim McManus says:

    Maureen — Thank you for sharing about Elsie. She is clearly making a positive difference. I appreciate you sharing your comments. The action you write about are indicative of the complimentary letter I receive from patients.

  3. Holly L. Norris says:

    One situation that really sticks out in my mind involves Case Management. We had a patient that was very confused and unaware of surroundings and had no place to go. I remember the case management staff including Julie (director) spending numerous weeks working with the family, nursing homes, and others to find a place that could provide the needed care for the patient. I came in over the weekend and saw Julie. She was frustrated with the situation because the family wouldn’t help. When Julie was with the family members, she went out of her way to make them comfortable and they were unaware of her frustration. Later, I saw Julie in her office shaking her head and commenting,” This poor person deserves better.” The Case Management staff all worked as a group to help this patient. In the end, they were able to find proper placement for the patient. In this situation, the patient was completely helpless. Finding good care for the patient wasn’t a job to them, but more of a personal endeavor. If anything ever happened to me, I want Julie and her staff advocating for me. Their actions really exemplifies advocacy.

  4. DBellBlogger says:

    Tim, this is an awesome post, my favorite thus far!
    Advocacy, I love it.

  5. Julie Widman says:

    I would like to acknowledge a very important person on the RHC team. She is an advocate for the patients, staff, and the families. I have had the utmost respect for Vanessa Richkus since she worked in administration. She is not only the “Patient Advocate” but spends so much time with families in distress, trying to make decisions about advanced directives, or DNR status. Vanessa spends hours speaking with families, praying with families, and helping them comes to terms with their own illness or the illness of their loved ones. She also spends time with staff who need support during complicated cases. She is the sounding board for families that have concerns or questions about the their care, or the line of communication. She always makes time for anyone at anytime they need her. Vanessa is a very quiet person, is always professional, kind, and very compassionate. Reston is blessed to have such a great person in a very difficult role.

  6. Analena Michelle Valdes says:

    The staff in the CVRU advocate for their patients daily from pain management to finding someone to get their patient back home after a procedure because their ride did not show up. Jennifer Blose, RN and Vicki Wahnsiedler, RN are two nurses that just recently went above and beyond for their patients. One patient had several health issues and was sent to our Unit via a taxi service clearly neglected and unkept. Jennifer made this person comfortable, got him properly fed and upon examination realized this person was sick and needed further evaluation. She coordinated care, had the MDs evaluate him, had Case Management involved and this patient received excellent care in the Unit for a respiratory illness that if left untreated could have been fatal. Kudos to her ’cause she did save a life!
    VIcki, RN always makes sure her patients understand procedures, recovery and discharge care. She is also very conscious that they have a friend or family to watch over them as well. One day, this was not the case. She was pro-active and kind to this patient assuring him that we would proceed with his procedure and she would take care of transport. She enlisted the local fire department chaplain and medic to be his chauffer and get him home. The patient was happy, treated and cared for well after. He came by later that week to say hello and say thank you. Rock it, VIcki for thinking ahead and finding a solution. Another happy customer!

    This occurs daily….just two of the the many. SOOOO proud of the team!

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