Creating a welcoming experience for patients, caregivers, and staff is an essential part of what we do every day. And Patrick Robinson takes that commitment even further.
Patrick has worked with Environmental Services at Novant Health (UVA) Prince William Medical Center in beautiful Manassas, Virginia, for five years. His hard work, high standards, and willingness to help patients and staff have made him indispensable—and a model for his fellow employees, as well as a group of interns.
In addition to his daily duties, Patrick is a mentor for Project SEARCH, an innovative program developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Project SEARCH connects hard-working high school students with hospital internships around the country, to help prepare them for different careers in healthcare.
"I train the interns through multiple schools," explains Patrick. "I enjoy it."
The Project SEARCH internship was created for high school students with developmental issues, such as autism spectrum disorders. "Because the hospital served individuals with developmental disabilities," says the organization's website, "it made sense that they should commit to hiring people in this group."
That began with training, and Patrick has been a dedicated part of the team since he started at Prince William. "Training the interns has helped me," he says. "With patience, teamwork, and understanding. They all have different ways of learning. I try to adapt to that."
He even learned sign language to communicate with one of the interns who is hearing impaired.
"I walk them through everything that I do throughout the day. As weeks go by, I ask them what they're doing, how I can help them. It helps them by learning and preparing for almost anything," says Patrick.
Thanks to Patrick's dedication and persistence, many interns go on to become key hospital employees.
"Patrick has taken ownership as a representative for the internship program for our department," says Dayan Sangha, Patrick's Director. "Due to his involvement and training, we have hired five additional interns in the past four years in various roles. Crothall has been able to partner with our local school system, project search and our community as a whole. This is due in part to Patrick's amazing efforts."
Kaitlyn Mason, an Employment Specialist III, agrees. "When I first started working in the hospital, I was not only nervous about making a lasting impression but also finding my way around! Patrick was 'Johnny on the spot' for both," she remembers.
"Patrick started in the EVS department as a Project SEARCH intern," Dayan continues. "After successfully completing his internship in April of 2015 he was hired as a full-time Crothall associate."
And today, Patrick is a Project SEARCH mentor, using his own unique and inspiring experiences to help others live fuller lives.
You began at Prince William as an intern with Project SEARCH as well. How has that experience helped you provide a welcoming experience as a mentor?
The interns enjoy training with me; they are all comfortable around me. They know I started as an intern, and that helps.
What's your favorite thing about working there?
I get to move around. I enjoy what I do. I am glad I have a job here in Manassas. I grew up here. It has good people, and I know the place.
What does providing a welcome experience mean to you?
Always being prepared to lend a helping hand.
What does it mean to you when you are the recipient of a welcome experience?
I feel grateful. And it happens all the time, basically all the time.