Patient safety has always a top priority for Jana Grienke and her team.
“Because we work with radiation, we’ve always been focused on safety,” says Grienke, MHA, ROCC, clinical administrator, Department of Radiation Oncology. “Of course that gives us a little different perspective when something like COVID-19 occurs.”
During the pandemic, the radiation oncology clinic has never ceased operations. And, according to Fatima Kenjar, the clinic’s residency program coordinator, Grienke supported everyone at the clinic.
“In sickness and in health, Jana Grienke hasn’t skipped a beat,” says Kenjar. “She is the glue that has kept us all together, keeping us well informed and providing us with everything our department needs to maintain our safety and health during these unpredictable and uneasy times.”
Grienke is quick to credit her team.
“It’s not just me. I cannot do what I do without everyone here,” she says, pausing. “We’ve really stressed in our department how much of a team effort everything is. We have all these different groups that come together to treat a patient with radiation.”
Promoting healing and safety during the pandemic
In the Radiation Oncology Clinic, the goal each day, every day, is to make sure the patients are safe and comfortable.
During this pandemic, Grienke says staff members continued to collaborate on the safest ways to continue treating patients.
“It made us think completely outside the box,” says Grienke. “How do we social distance in the waiting room? What steps do we need to take to ensure that the patient and our employees are safe? Safety is always at the forefront of our minds because of where we work and the type of patients that we see.”
Since telemedicine was not an option for their patients, Grienke says that meant pulling together to focus on the patient care experience.
“Jana’s attitude through all of it has been what we needed to carry us through it all,” says Kenjar. “She has compassion and expresses empathy and a true sense of care.”
Seeing through a patient’s eyes
Grienke has worked at UI Hospitals & Clinics for 16 years.
“It’s just the best place to work. I mean, it really is,” she says.
But working with patients can sometimes be bittersweet.
“We don’t ever want people to have to come to us, but we know it’s needed,” she explains. “And we’re glad we’re the ones that help the people that do have to come.”
Grienke is grateful for her team and for the incredible care they provide to patients.
“It’s a testament of our culture,” she says, “of that whole team effort that we really live by here.”