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Archive September 2013 XIV, No. 9

Staff and Patient Satisfaction

The Surgi-Center of Central Virginia in Fredericksburg keeps them engaged.

ORX Award Winner
staff satisfaction INFECTIOUS ATTITUDE Team members at the Surgi-Center of Central Virginia (clockwise from right): Kenny Ellinger, RN, ADN, administrator; Vicki Lisenby, CNA; April Tingler, receptionist; Ian Wise, endoscopy tech; Arvis Abban, RN, pre-op and PACU manager; Sarah Yuhasz, LPN, QA coordinator; Tori Sanders, surgical scrub tech; Belinda MacLean, RN, OR manager; Kathy Miles, RN, pre-op nurse; and Heather Rodriguez, RN, OR nurse.

It's a no-brainer, really: A happy staff makes for happy patients," says Kenny Ellinger, RN, ADN, administrator of the Surgi-Center of Central Virginia in Fredericksburg, Va. "Each interaction we have each day with patients and the members of their families has an impact." So it's worthwhile for those interactions to be positive ones, he says.

Mr. Ellinger's endorsed and encouraged this mindset since reading a motivational book his QA nurse brought him from a conference. Now he's working on getting the rest of his staff on board. He bought 25 copies to lend out in order to start a book discussion group at the facility.

It's an optional activity, but those who do the reading can join their co-workers for a private-room dinner at a local restaurant this month to share their thoughts on the book and discuss how its lessons can benefit the facility, its patients and its physicians. "Everybody's got ideas," he says. "This is a chance to get out, get comfortable and give voice to them." Most of his 65 employees have borrowed a copy to read.

The book, The Fred Factor, by Mark Sanborn, looks at what happens to your work, workplace and life when you're truly engaged in the job you do and the people you serve. "It really spoke to me," says Mr. Ellinger. "Golden-rule-type stuff they taught us as children that we might have forgotten, but it still holds true."

To keep employees engaged, "we're always trying to find ways to spark interest, to allow people to reinvent themselves and the work they do," says Mr. Ellinger. Besides the book group, which he hopes to make a quarterly event, there's also a regularly updated display charting case volumes, costs, revenues and other bottom-line numbers, so staff can see how the facility's doing and whether they're on track for bonuses. "The more information you have, the better you feel about the place you're working," he says. "As opposed to just punching a clock and hoping you're making a contribution."

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