On the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Davenport, Iowa, is the largest city of the massive Midwestern metropolitan cluster called the Quad Cities. (Which also includes Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in Illinois; no, there won’t be a test.) Davenport is probably best known for its many musical festivals, but the city’s top employer is Genesis Health System. David Smith is a carpenter at Genesis West, one of the system’s key facilities.
You may wonder how a carpenter could be an important part of the welcoming experience. David explains why they most certainly are:
“When an employee arrives or moves to a different office or work area, I set up their workspace,” explains Smith. “This includes all furniture, pictures, coat hooks, shelving, whatever they might need. This helps make their transition less stressful and creates a warm, inviting environment for them.”
Helping healthcare staff settle into new environments is just part of Smith’s job. We interviewed him to find out more about how he helps make a difference in the lives of staff, caregivers, and patients.
Tell us a story about a time you feel like you impacted a patient through your work.
While installing a new compressor on the building rooftop, we had to restrict access to the wound center. Cars were not able to drive into the normal parking area. Patients were inconvenienced.
One particular patient was in a wheelchair and getting to their car would have been difficult. With their permission, I drove their car to a handicap ramp, wheeled them to their car and helped them get in and on their way.
Share a time when you recognized that you were impacting the families or guests of a hospital.
Our entire staff assists all visitors by helping them find the department or office they are looking for. In most cases, we walk with them to their final destination. You can tell by the looks on the patients faces when you have made a difference in their day.
How have you been able to provide a welcoming experience for the community with your work?
Our daily activities create a safe, clean and secure place where they can come and rest in their time of need.
How do you try to provide a great work experience for your teammates? Can you tell us a story about something you did for someone on your team?
Our team is just that—a team. We all work together on a daily basis to complete the numerous tasks that arise. Some are scheduled, like large air-handler filter changes. Others are emergencies, such as broken water pipes that could potentially flood entire areas of the hospital. We are in constant contact using two-way radios. Every day we assist each other through knowledge and hard work.
What does providing a welcome experience mean to you?
I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment providing a welcome experience to the staff and visitors. Once you work in a medical facility, the empathy you feel is overwhelming, because we are all helping others in their time of need. The doctors and nurses give so much to their patients, so anything we can do to help them succeed is greatly appreciated.
What does it mean to you when you’re the recipient of a welcome experience?
It makes me feel appreciated and successful. I recently helped a cancer center move and the entire staff was wonderful. Every day I leave work proud of what I have accomplished.
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