I love healthcare. More specifically, though, I love hospital operations. Working in healthcare means that I go to work every morning looking to improve in someone’s life. No matter the role, the role of a healthcare worker positively affects the patient. The affect can be direct or attenuated, but from one-to-one care to the casual smile passing by, the smallest human interaction has to ability to transform a patient’s mood. As much as patients need hospitals, hospitals need patients. This is something that a hospital and its employees must always remember.
Transitioning from clinical to operational practice broadened my influence on the patient. As a clinician, my influence was limited primarily to the hands-on care I provided to the patient. It attached to the shift that I worked. When working nights, I influenced the patient at night. When working days, I influenced the patient during the day. While my influence periodically transferred to adjacently scheduled shifts, for the most part it stayed time-specific, focused on my time spent at the bedside. As an operational specialist, things are different. Most notably, I don’t work a shift like I did in the past. I no longer have that specific time of the day when I provide hands-on patient care. A large part of me misses this dedicated time. The corresponding trade-off associated with taking an administration role, however, is worth it. I now see patient care as it moves across the care continuum. I monitor day-to-day interactions between patients and practitioners; practitioners and administration; patients and administration. All of this provides an understanding and appreciation of health care unattainable from the clinician level. My new role gives me a new vision, and it is this new vision gives me the heightened ability to effect improvements in patient-hospital interactions.