Thank You: The Magic Word in Healthcare Too!
I recently saw the power of thank you highlighted on two different occasions in healthcare settings.
On the first, I was following a team of physicians who were conducting patient rounds on the acute care of the elderly unit at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS), Fort Miley. The group moving from room to room included medical students and residents, as well as a pharmacist and a social worker. The nurse assigned to care for the particular patient the team visited did not travel with the group through the wards. Instead, as the team fanned out around a patient’s bed, the nurse assigned to that patient—who was almost always in some other patient’s room—would interrupt his or her work and rush in to join the rounds. Whenever a nurse joined the group, the attending physician, Kathryn Eubank, briefly stopped the discussion and thanked the nurse for coming to join them.
Eubank also made sure to ask the nurse if she or he had any concerns or input to share with the team. When the nurse expressed a concern or shared important information, the attending physician thanked the nurse for this input. And when the group was finished, the attending physician again thanked the nurse for joining the rounds.