A Lesson in Kindness

From time to time the Patient Relations department receives compliments for our staff and we have a process by which we share these compliments with those for whom they are intended. Today I received a compliment that, while meant for a specific staff member, is a valuable lesson for all of us who work in healthcare. I am sharing with you and would love to hear if you have had similar experiences.  (I have changed some of the details to protect the identify of the patient, the staff member and the unit.)

Our patient says: On Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 12:30pm I had an appointment for an XYZ test and I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the technologist performing this test. As the appointment started I basically broke down and began to cry with the anxiety and fear of the unknown and more importantly the fear of what the test may show. Your technologist instantly recognized that I was tense and anxious and explained to me that the test would not work properly in the condition I was in. He then took the time to go thru every step of the testing and explain to me in detail what he was doing before he did it and what I should expect. Then while he was performing the tests he constantly talked to me to help me relax and encouraged me to breath and release all the stress that had built in anticipation of this appointment. This was the best experience I have ever had at a hospital and if more hospital workers took the extra 5 or 10 minutes needed to assure their patients and supply them with pertinent information required it would help alleviate undue stress and possibly further unnecessary testing due to inconclusive results. All the best to you all at this holiday time.

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