Why I’ll keep working in healthcare

IMG_4101 (1)While some people are actively choosing to leave the healthcare industry, I’m intentionally choosing to stay. It’s a challenging environment to be in right now regardless of the job you hold. The market is changing, healthcare laws and regulations are changing and the culture in almost every healthcare organization is changing as a result.

Not only am I excited about the future of healthcare, I’m also able to see through all the changes and realize that it is still what it has always been, an industry where lives are saved every single day.

I’m currently recovering from surgery and my experience was the perfect reminder of why I am choosing to keep working in healthcare despite all the chaos and struggles. Besides having my wisdom teeth out, I’ve never had any kind of procedure so I was absolutely terrified as you can imagine. I showed up to the registration desk the day of my surgery shaking uncontrollably but I’m greeted by two pleasant women who look behind them and pointed at flowers and a large care basket. They were all for me from my coworkers. The nerves calmed down a little bit just knowing that I worked with such caring people who extended me a wealth of support when I needed it most.

Then I went to the prep area and the nerves started up again because my last two experiences with an IV were horrible. One time, it took them six tries, no joke. I told my nurse this and she reassured me that it wouldn’t be that bad, but then she looked at my arm and said, “Wow, you have tiny veins. No wonder they had a hard time.” I’m thinking she’s going to start poking at me but instead, she spent probably a good three minutes just carefully examining my wrist area before telling me she’s going to take care of my IV. She got it in one shot and it didn’t hurt a bit. After prepping me for surgery, she brought in my family in and answers all of their million ridiculous questions with kindness and patience.

The operating room nurse came to get me and takes me into what felt like one of those creepy rooms from Dexter. Apparently, that is what an operating room looks like to me. The only difference was that there were a bunch of cheerful people in there including my surgeon and anesthesiologist who both assured me that I’m in the best hands possible. The crazy thing is that I knew them both for all of five minutes but I believed every word they told me. The care I received was truly amazing. In the end, they even saved me in ways I won’t go into but to do it, it meant that every nurse and every doctor had to stay later than expected in that operating room.

I could go on but you get the point. This experience is not the only reason I want to keep working in healthcare but it was just another reminder of the genuinely caring people I work with all day every day regardless of whether or not they are in patient care or a supporting department. The healthcare environment just encourages that caring spirit and culture and that is a culture I want to work in for a long time, if not forever.

This all got me thinking about ASHHRA, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, an organization I’m a member of as a healthcare HR professional. I remember the immediate connection I felt with the organization and the people I met through the organization when I first joined it. I, now, realize that it was because we all work in healthcare and we have that patient-centered and people-centered mindset. I’m so involved with ASHHRA and I’m doing what I always tell others to do and that is to surround yourself with positive, inspiring, smart and driven people.

I’m not saying there are not positive, inspiring, smart and driven people outside of healthcare but I am suggesting that there is definitely something special about healthcare and that is why I’m going to stay here for a while. I’m energized about the opportunities to impact change in the industry and I’m constantly inspired by the people who save lives every day as well as the people who support those who save lives every day. In healthcare, there is no getting around teamwork. It takes all of us to make healthcare organizations run and that is pretty cool. We get to see people on their best days, their worst days and everything in between and that is something I will never take for granted.

It is my privilege to work next to talented care takers. The thing is, in healthcare, we are all care takers. If we’re not taking care of patients, we’re taking care of each other – maintaining the technology, creating a great place to work or managing the finances so that those who take care of our patients can focus on doing what they do best.

Everyone in healthcare has a special passion. Beyond their actual jobs, healthcare workers want to make a real impact not just at their organizations but in the world. They’re continuously experimenting, innovating and creating. It’s an addiction to believe you can change the world but I get to be a part of that environment all the time and I’m hooked.

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