One of the most rewarding aspects of working with diverse healthcare organizations across the country is the opportunity to learn from so many talented, dedicated professionals. The insights and inspirations I witness are personally gratifying – and enormously beneficial to the other client organizations I work with.
Recently I had the good fortune to meet and learn from Pedro Ceniza, RN, a dedicated assistant director of nursing at Jacobi Medical Center in The Bronx. I was rounding with Mr. Ceniza during the evening/night shift to identify and better understand some of the unique struggles and opportunities to improve the patient experience on the third “tour.” The best practice I observed had nothing to do with the night tour specifically.
As we rounded on the seven large medical/surgical units throughout the house, I watched as something special happened as we walked on each floor. Mr. Ceniza greeted each staff member by name and introduced them to me. Nurses, techs, housekeepers – he knew them all personally. And he wasn’t simply reading the name badges. In fact, he pointed out to several staff members that their badge was not clearly visible.
I didn’t actually count, but there were easily 10-15 staff members on each of the units we visited. That night, I’m sure, was not unique. So when you do the math, you quickly realize that Mr. Cineza has a personal connection with hundreds of staff members throughout the house.
As we finished our rounds, I commented on how impressed – and heartened – I was that he knew everyone we encountered by name. He humbly smiled and said, “When I step onto a unit, I want all of the staff members to be drawn to me, not to scatter.”
And in that moment, I came to appreciate another meaningful way for leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of their rounding. When you step onto a unit, are staff drawn to you – or do you have to flush them out to have “purposeful” conversations? Their reaction speaks volumes about whether they feel supported – or intimidated – by our efforts to be more visible.