A promise to keep

A promise to keep

Current healthcare information shows that healthcare workers are the most stressed of any industry. In the March edition of Hospitals and Health Networks (H&HN), a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll of about 3,200 workers, conducted over a month in November and December, showed that 69 percent of healthcare workers surveyed feel stressed and 17 percent feel highly stressed. The survey also found that of those surveyed, 64 percent reported job satisfaction. Even though this survey reflects what most of us feel – stressed but satisfied – it is important to be in tune with our hearts, as a promise to keep. It is healthy from time to time to pause as an organization and as human beings, to remind ourselves of our promise to our patients and their family members.

In our duty to serve others as stated in our mission, vision, and code of conduct, I suggest that we stay connected to that promise. First, we should address our own personal promise to keep, to include our family.

The famous Greek philosopher and physician Hippocrates, who was born 470 B.C., formulated a wise perspective on caring for ourselves and for each other. Hippocrates believed in a balanced life – to work some, to rest some, and to play some. Everything in excess is opposed to nature, stated Hippocrates. He also stated: “Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.”

For a modern-day philosophy on life, the much-quoted author Robert Fulghum provides several quotes to live by in his classic book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Here are a few, paraphrased:

  1. Play fair; don’t hit people.
  2. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  3. Be aware of wonder.
  4. Live a balanced life – learn some and thank some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
  5. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world it is best to hold hands and stick together

As we approach our daily role in serving others, I ask that we keep in mind our promise to care for each other, our patients and their families. I ask that we see the importance of “the human touch” in every opportunity – with our patients, their families, and with one another.

Remember to call people by their names, smile, make eye contact, and be fully present to listen to them. In this way, we will serve others. We live in a time of anxiety. In our personal lives, and in serving our patients and families, we need to promise to address the anxiety of others. Let us all promise to keep the human touch in our awareness, as we care for ourselves, our families, our healthcare team at OMH, our patients and their families.

Sincerely,

Ed Piper, Ph.D.

Former President & Chief Executive Officer, 2000-2016

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