Our days. or in some cases our nights, are spent with co-workers. The desire to collaborate with compassionate, intelligent people led me to a career in healthcare, and over the past 25+ years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some phenomenal individuals.
Some have been physicians; both those who have cared for family and for me, as well as those with whom I’ve toiled on projects, committees and boards. I’ve been impressed time and again with the dedication and courage these men and women display in the face of daunting obstacles. My expectations are high when it comes to leaders of the healthcare team, and rarely am I disappointed.
Some have been nurses, physician assistants, and therapists; front line warriors in the battle against illness and disability. Those who excel refuse to allow their souls to be crushed by the unceasing demands of their high-tech, high-touch roles.
There are pharmacists, risk and quality managers, social workers, and paramedics who remain fixed in my memory although years have passed since we traveled the same hallways.
Many have held one of the multitude of ancillary jobs necessary to keep healthcare organizations functioning. There’s no one I want to see more than a skilled maintenace employee when the power goes out or water suddenly begins pouring from the ceiling, and bless the information technology staffer who responds promptly and knowledgeably when the the computer program I desperately need locks up my system. At one hospital I stopped by the coffee shop nearly every morning, more for the smile and friendly greeting I knew I’d get from the dietary staff than for the coffee.
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm,” said Publilius Syrus more than 2,000 years ago; but today’s sea of healthcare is anything but calm. Administrators, Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Healthcare Attorneys, and others who set our course and work to keep the ship from running aground in stormy seas, bear a heavy responsibility. Those I have most admired are the leaders who remain slightly awed by the magnificent work that flows around them every day.
Thanks to all of you, the heart of healthcare, I’ve never wished I had chosen another field.