Though most people don’t choose to be in the hospital, employees like Jason Johnson make each patient’s stay easier.
“I do anything and everything that’s requested of me,” says Johnson, nursing assistant in the Medical Surgical Cardiology Unit (MSCU). “I help patients order food, take their food away, change bed linens; really whatever is needed.”
Generally caring for eight to 16 patients over the course of his 12-hour shift, Johnson may bathe patients, help them walk around the floor, and empty and replace bed pans, among other tasks.
Making it work
On busy days in the MSCU, Johnson says he keeps a lighthearted attitude to help manage any stress that may arise.
“I’ll prioritize what I know needs to be done, and anything else that I can squeeze in is a bonus,” he says. “I also like to throw in a comedic note here and there.”
One other way Johnson and his colleagues maintain high-quality patient care is through collaboration.
“Nobody can do it alone,” says Johnson. “There are too many interlocking pieces. We can’t do our jobs without the housekeepers or the dietary aides. The nurses need the nursing assistants. The doctors need help from the nurses and the nurse practitioners. That distribution of labor helps everyone best focus their efforts, and it has a positive impact on patient care.”
Different people may have different ideas of what high-quality patient care looks like. For Johnson, the answer is straightforward.
“If I can positively impact the patient’s outcome, that’s the best thing I can do for patient care,” he says.
Johnson and his colleagues also focus on providing a comfortable environment for patients.
“I had a patient recently who had some hearing loss and since I have a little bit of hearing loss too, I empathized,” he says. “That’s what it’s about; if we can lighten the mood or make them more comfortable or less embarrassed, we leap at that chance.”