As a sophomore at the University of Washington I was working on finishing my prerequisites for nursing school when I found the Health Scholars program. I was so excited to join and work alongside nurses and gain experience in the field that I had always aspired to be a part of. When I got on the floor I was consistently amazed by what the nurses were doing on a daily basis. From administering life-saving treatments to providing comfort to patient’s loved ones, nurses are truly superheroes. However I also often found myself looking at processes in the hospital and thinking of ways they could be improved. This is when I applied for the administrative rotation within the Health Scholars Program.
On my administration rotation I was placed with the Patient Experience team. This team’s unofficial motto has been “Happy staff make happy patients, and we can’t get that reversed.” We worked with teams across the hospital, teaching classes on creating a culture where real-time feedback with each other makes for a cohesive team who prioritizes patients and patient safety. We also addressed patient complaints directly working with patients and staff to find a resolution. After about 2 months on the rotation my mentors recruited me to apply for a brand new position in the department.
Now as the Customer Experience Specialist for Swedish Hospitals, I work every day with patients and staff to assure that patient concerns are followed up with appropriately and compliments are celebrated. Since it is a new role for Swedish, I have been able to mold the job, creating policies and procedures that not only support patients, but staff as well. Within my first year I have worked with staff to address thousands of pieces of feedback, including feedback received by some of our Chief Officers. My experience as a Health Scholar allowed me to learn the Swedish system and build relationships with frontline caregivers who I now work with on a daily basis. I have Health Scholars to thank for helping me find my place in health care where I can use creative problem solving daily and make Swedish the best place to work and practice, as well as the best place for patients to receive care.