Let’s Put the CARE back in Health Care

by Al Smith

Don’t you think that most companies could use more CARE (Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, and Encourage) in the workplace? And if there’s a specific industry that really needs CARE, it is the health care industry. Employees (care givers) in the health care industry – hospitals, hospice, home health, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, even doctors’ offices – spend most of their time taking care of other people. It’s time we show them some love; some CARE.

Having spent several years in the health care industry, the last two in hospice, it is my opinion that most of these companies focus on money first, patients second and employees third. This needs to change. I know we are all in business to make money, but we need to put our people first. Like I have said before, your employees are your best client. If you don’t take care of them, eventually you will not have any clients (patients) to take care of. Period.

Make your employees feel like they’re “part of” your company, not “apart from”. Involve and include them in the company plans, vision, and goals. Ask their opinion, let them know they matter. Listen to them and their ideas. After all, they are on the front line every day. They need to feel appreciated. When employees feel that you really CARE about them and that they are a part of the company, they will go the extra mile, with a smile.

Of course employees have to do their part, too.  They need to be held accountable. We are all responsible. We all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves why we are doing the work we do, and consider whether or not we’re doing the best job possible. It’s much more likely that employees will do this when they know that you CARE about them.

Next week, May 6 – May 12, is National Nurses Week. It’s the perfect opportunity to show this incredible group of people how much we care about them. Show them and all people in the health care industry that you really do CARE. If you do, you will start to see a positive change in your employees and the benefits will be far reaching. The morale will improve, the patients will benefit and … your company will be more profitable, too.

What do you think?  I’d Love to hear your thoughts.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Gosselin May 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi Al,
Health care is one of the most important places we need to put care back. A caring nurse can transform a horrible experience into one that is tolerable. I feel empathy for those who are overworked and aren’t able to give the level of care they want to give. So much needs to be done to enable care in this setting.
Keep on telling them Al!
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Al Smith May 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thanks Lori. Now if we can get some health care Leaders to take notice and do something. Next week is national nurses week. What a great time to CARE.

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Craig McBreen May 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Al,

Yes, most companies could use more CARE in the workplace! So, keep on ‘em!

I totally agree with you on this. During the last few months of my father’s life we came to know some amazing people. Nurses and aids who worked for a local home hospice care system. They were some of the most quality people I’ve ever met. For us, they made a horrible situation bearable.

We also had experiences in a nursing home, rehab center and several hospitals. And I can tell you most of these people go above and beyond and they deserve great treatment, but are often overworked, overstressed and underpaid.

Thanks for what you are doing, Al. Oh, and I love the videos. Keep ‘em coming.
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Al Smith May 4, 2012 at 7:10 am

Always appreciate your great comments Craig. So glad your family and father were treated with respect. Hope to talk soon.

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Shelley Lundquist May 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for caring, Al. And for addressing and honouring these special people who give from their hearts. Thew few nurses I know are the most generous, loving, kind and giving people. I will definitely be passing on my appreciation. But then I try to do that with everyone I meet every day. I appreciate you.
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Al Smith May 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

Thanks Shelley. You are one of the kindest people I know. Always thinking of others and trying to make a difference. Appreciate your comments and your continued support of The CARE Movement. Hope we can talk soon.

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Summer May 8, 2012 at 3:43 am

“If you don’t take care of them, eventually you will not have any clients (patients) to take care of. Period.” I agree with this simple concept on employer-employee relations. Satisfied workers will perform better and that will translate to better services and happy clients.
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Emily Woodhouse November 6, 2012 at 12:01 am

Totally agreed.
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Laura May 8, 2012 at 4:56 am

Really nice movement, great thoughts, Al! We should care about people who take care of our phisical and mental health.
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Ralph May 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

Al, you have such a strong alignment to what we are talking about over at http://theviewfromhere.ca not necessarily from a healthcare perspective but more from an employee/employer relationships as it pertains to leadership. Love your drive to improve the lives of the knowledge worker.

The compay I work for also does Healthcare design (Architecture & Design Industry) and this type of issue with including a variety of levels of staff in the programming of space is a constant struggle more from the side of the time and fee to gather and analyse data and comments/issues.

Keep up the good fight, my friend.
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Joyce May 14, 2012 at 2:38 am

I agree with you, the main problem with the health care system is that it became more profit-oriented. If you will only ask the practitioners themselves, they will likely say that it is not about the money, but instead, it is about giving the people the care that they need.
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Skyler May 17, 2012 at 7:26 am

I guess the likes of Hippocrates, Florence Nightingale and C.C. ‘”Cy” Young were turning in their graves with what is happening in the health care system.
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