By Michele Pilon
President/CNO, Transylvania Regional Hospital
There is a lot to celebrate at Transylvania Regional Hospital (TRH) this month. May 6-12 was National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week, and we hosted an array of appreciation events that highlight the essential work every team member provides that makes our patient care truly extraordinary.
Care teams create the patient experience, but I believe – because I witness it every day at TRH – that each and every person who touches a patient contributes to their healing. Our care teams tend to our patients’ medical and emotional needs, as well as those of their loved ones; think about the nurse who administers pre-surgery medication to a patient to calm them or the nurse who offers supportive words or a hug to a terminally ill patient’s loved ones.
But it’s also true that a patient’s hospital experience is impacted by team members who may never come into direct contact with them: the computer technology staff, the chef, our facilities staff or a housekeeping staff member, for example – yet without question they make the patient’s hospital stay safer and more comfortable. As just a few examples, pharmacists impact patient safety tremendously, the front desk volunteer is the first face a patient encounters when entering TRH, and a volunteer or nurse may be the person who wheels the patient out as they prepare to return home.
I started my career as a bedside nurse, and the care I provided was only as good as my other hospital team members – laboratory, facility management, dietary services staff, nursing assistants, housekeepers, care managers, social workers, physicians, advanced practitioners and many others – who complemented and supported my patients and me. Beyond my personal experience, our own patients’ comments clearly illustrate how powerful and impactful team collaboration is:
- “The PA explained to me what tests were going to be given and what I was to expect. The dietician stopped in to make sure everyone was taking care of my food allergies. The nurses and CNA were so helpful and kind, so I felt safe. Everyone who encountered me during different tests was friendly and supportive. I felt the professionalism and human kindness wherever I was.”
- “I was impressed that all, from the housekeeping staff to the charge nurses, felt that they were truly an integral part of my recovery.”
- “From my first encounter with the receptionist to the final volunteer who wheeled me to the parking lot after surgery, I thought your entire staff was exemplary. Everyone I interacted with: receptionists, attendants, nurses, doctors, and volunteers all wore smiles, were encouraging and supportive, and made me feel like I was visiting a special place.”
- “…received outstanding care from everyone involved – doctors, PAs, nurses, aides, local EMTs, discharge specialists, clerks and anybody else we had any dealings with….All of these folks were devoted….It was not just a job for them. It was truly a mission.”
Since my very first days as a teenaged candy striper, I knew that hospital work was for me; I never wanted to work anywhere else. I know everyone at TRH feels equally dedicated to our patients. The passion within each of our healthcare team members is visible every day throughout our halls. Thank you to our TRH “village” for providing our patients with the most advanced, yet heart-filled care possible.
Michele Pilon, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, is the President and CNO of Transylvania Regional Hospital. Her diverse professional experience includes service as a bedside nurse and over a decade as a leader at healthcare institutions in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina. Ms. Pilon earned a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Ohio’s University of Akron and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis in Illinois; she is also a Board-Certified Nursing Executive.