Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Healthy Happenings Provides Health News, and New Perspective

The following few blog entries, on various health topics, may be found in Fauquier Health's Healthy Happenings, a community newsletter that is mailed out to families in the area. As part of my job, every quarter when Healthy Happenings comes out I wander around the hospital and distribute copies in the waiting rooms for people to peruse.

The first few times I did this, I got lost frequently, but there was always a friendly, understanding person nearby who could nudge me on my way. This is actually a skill taught to employees when they join Fauquier Health. Employees and volunteers are taught to assist anyone who looks even a little bit confused about where to go.

Now that I am a two-year veteran in my position as PR Specialist, even I -- though directionally challenged -- have been able to escort patients or families to their destinations on occasion. It's amazing what a difference this little kindness makes to visitors. I always get a grateful smile, and that gives me a lift too. Civility is alive and well at Fauquier Hospital.

Now that I don't get lost among the five floors of the hospital (four patient floors and the ground floor), I have leisure to notice other niceties. I was headed down the hall towards the MRI unit with a stack of Healthy Happenings when it suddenly struck me that the white tiled floor was sparkling and shiny. It was so clean that it looked brand new. A glance down the intersecting hall revealed the same spotless floor and clean, open hallway. There was no one in either hall, but I knew who had been there. Fauquier Health's housekeeping staff is wonderful. Thorough and hard-working -- and endlessly cheerful to boot.

I then slowed down to notice the framed artwork on the walls and listened to the soft music playing from the hallway speakers. It honestly made me stop for a moment. After two years, I had started to take my surroundings for granted. How would these hallways look to a sick patient or a worried dad, there for the first time? My guess is they couldn't help but feel comforted, even if they didn't know why.
The little things really do matter.

It's nice to know there is such caring thoughtfulness on display every day at my hospital -- in the patients' rooms, and even in the hallways.

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