I am doing my level best to be a responsible 50-year-old:
- Bone density test: Check.
- Cholesterol screening: Check.
- Glaucoma eye exam: Check.
- Colonoscopy: ... Seriously?!
I showed up last Tuesday wishing to be anywhere but there and using sheer will to continue down the corridor, hand my insurance card to the receptionist, and take my seat among all the other forlorn-looking souls in the waiting room.
And yet somehow, this team made it an amazing experience. Really. Probably one of the best healthcare experiences I ever had. Greeting me by name and making sure to get pronunciation of my last name correct, Lorraine, the nurse assigned to me, pulled her chair right up next to me, put her hand carefully on my forearm, made intense eye contact, smiled, and reviewed my health history and requisite forms. Most importantly, she made a great effort to explain all that would be happening before it happened. And as she worked, she hummed some cheerful tune under her breath as she went about readying me for my procedure.
She handed me off seamlessly to the anesthesiologist who continued the same clear communication. I had the distinct impression that even though he'd given this little speech a million times, he was completely present with me in that conversation. He clearly loved what he did and I felt it along with his confidence and kindness.
Again, beautifully handed over to my physician, Dr. Eastman, who leaned on the gurney rail and, as if in no hurry and happy to be there, explained, cajoled, joked (easy to do in that setting!), reassured and praised me for caring enough to make this decision for myself.
Several times I heard the team joke around with each other and once heard Lorraine say to a woman who was clearly the practice manager, "Well, I just wanted you to know I was doing my job well!" To which the supervisor replied, "Lorraine, if you did your job any better I'd have to double your salary!" One of last things I remember hearing before the Versed took effect was a loud "Woo Hoo!" from Lorraine.
What seemed like a moment later, I awoke to Lorraine's smiling face and heard her say, "Good news. Looks like you're in the 10-year club!
" The dreaded experience over and on my way home with a bag full of juice, fruit, colon health brochures, and referral cards... I marveled at how this group of professionals had made me glad to have been there that today.
Caring, present, competent, clear, complimentary, loving their work, and enjoying one another. No amount of marketing will compensate for a lack of these in your practice. In any economy, the best internal marketing is a practice that FEELS this way to patients every day.
Here's to hoping that you and your patients are glad they've been there today.