We treat those we serve and one another with concern, kindness and respect.
The importance of self-care to heart health
“I always encourage patients to be practicing mindfulness. This could just be taking time for yourself, 10 minutes out of your day to do something that you really enjoy, something that gives you peace and contentment. I mean, it could be listening to your favorite podcast. It could be going for a run, it could be just listening to music.”
Seeing treatments from the patients’ perspective and providing compassionate care
“I know first-hand that treatments can be inconvenient and following medical advice isn’t always easy. That’s why I take the time to truly explain things so my patients know why it’s important to follow-through with recommendations.”
Bestowing the blessing of blood donation, to help during a shortage
“What a great way to give. Someone’s going to get this, and it’s going to help them. It’s going to bless them.”
Offering spiritual care to patients and their caregivers
“The challenge of illness can be frightening, but it can also become a vehicle for profound healing and awakening—physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are here to support patients and their caregivers, whether to comfort them or celebrate their healing.”
She treats patients with respect and kindness
“I don’t know what patients have been through in their life or what type of stress they’re dealing with when they come to us. Recognizing that and treating everyone respectfully can help make things calmer.”
Learning to be more aware of invisible disabilities
“It’s not for the individuals with invisible disabilities to drive our awareness. Rather, it’s for organizations like Sutter Health to drive the conversation. When we talk about inclusion, how are we helping these folks feel safe, comfortable and confident enough to disclose their conditions?”
Vaccinating to protect our loved ones from COVID-19
“I got the vaccine for my grandma. She is my best friend, and I would never want to be the reason why she got sick or why we would lose her. In the beginning of the pandemic, I would visit her by talking through her window, but now since we are both vaccinated, we can continue to spend quality time together.”
Pandemic self-care in the form of triathlon training
“Training over the better part of the past year has been a constructive ‘escape’ from the challenges of the pandemic. It’s been an outlet to push myself and improve my physical and mental fitness.”
Shared decision making and compassionate care
“I love working with patients, and I do what I think is best for them, and always include shared decision making as part of the process.”
Caring for patients makes a mark on his heart
“There are a lot of pathways that you take with physical therapy, and each one of them gives me satisfaction that I’m able to help patients and touch their lives. Each setting also challenges me to keep on improving to offer the best that I can. One thing is for sure: Seeing the smile on their face when you’re able to relieve their pain and improve their function and independence always makes a mark on my heart.”
She organized vaccine clinics to take care of patients and teammates
“Taking care of people is why I became a nurse, and it was truly an honor for me to be able to give back to our frontline workers and help keep them safe.”
A patient’s view of compassionate care
“I recently spent six days at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento recovering from a spine surgery. During this time, I felt deeply cared for by everyone on the team. I knew I was in great hands. Between the nurses, night nurses, the nurse techs, housekeeping and everyone in between, I could feel the compassion and excellence in each interaction. Today, walking around without pain and back at work, I am in awe of my Sutter Medical Foundation physicians and the team in the neuro operating room.
“Thank you to everyone who had a direct and indirect impact on my personal health and healing. You make a difference!”
Enriching patients’ lives through compassionate connection
“I get to experience the deepest trust, strongest compassion and most powerful human emotions. Even with patients that are no longer progressing with their health, I find myself determined to make their last years of life as comfortable as possible.”
Caring moments–and healing–courtesy of Omega the facility dog
“Once the patient has a dog in their room, it’s nearly impossible for them not to engage. It puts them in a different headspace, and for kids who have a dog at home, it’s a chance for them to feel normal. Omega’s presence also reduces stress for the patient’s parents and siblings.”
‘For me, patient care is compassionate care’
“I strive to give each person my undivided attention while I’m with them and try to take care of as many of their needs at that moment as I can. For me, patient care is compassionate care. It means understanding that each person is a human being just doing the best they can. I try to make each person’s life a little bit better each time I see them, trying to connect with them on an emotional level and also to provide them with the best physical therapy skills that I can.”
The compassion in seeing behind the masks during the pandemic
“There is no doubt that masks are a critical, life-saving necessity, and we know they work best when everyone wears one. But now, almost a year into this crisis, it’s worth thinking about what might be happening underneath another person’s mask, the full range of human expressions. Behind a mask, do we lose the ability to ‘be seen’ when we’re in need of connection? Do we have a harder time seeing others as well?”
Dedicating time at the vaccination clinic connected her with serving others
“People were so grateful. They were joyful. It was stunning and humbling to see the community getting the care that we provide and seeing my colleagues at the clinics, who are rock stars.
“I live alone, and I’ve been isolated for the past year. I realized when I signed up to work at the vaccination clinic that it’s been a full year since I’ve been of service to someone else in a meaningful way.”
She was born to be a nurse, and here’s why
“A great nurse is simply being a great friend. A friend is caring, compassionate and helpful. Like a friend, a nurse will educate, advocate for and protect patients. Just like a great friend, a nurse will push a patient to heal and recover, and when they do, their nurse will be their biggest cheerleader. Bonds are made between nurses and their patients just like those made between friends.”
Connection as a practice in compassion
“I am motivated to connect with patients in a genuine and authentic way, because I know that human connection is, in and of itself, a practice in compassion. Human beings have an innate social need to be heard. I approach my interactions with patients as opportunities to connect.
“By ensuring that the patient feels truly seen and heard, we can develop rapport, trust and an alliance that helps us to work together to develop a safe and appropriate discharge plan.”
She thanks Sutter for her job–and her survival
“I was so scared. I nearly died. I have no family in California, and my family in Ohio couldn’t come out. I had no one but the nurses at my bedside.
“It was so humbling being taken care of by my fellow nurses. Our nurses were so kind and patient with me. One of them gave me a card to encourage me. Another one would hold my hand every night and pray with me.”
‘She needed someone to talk to that day’
“With our participants receiving most care and services at home because of the pandemic, I often deliver meals to them at home. With drivers, we’re often the ones who are hands-on with our patients. When one of the participants didn’t answer her phone, I became concerned. I drove over, and I found that she needed someone to talk to that day. I listened to her, and I cared.”
The bond she develops by caring for children
“When you take care of the kids, you also take care of the parents. The families rely on you, and they learn from you. There’s really no one else who understands what they’re going through. We’ll often build a really strong bond.”
To care for teammates during the pandemic, she gives cooking webinars
“This gives me and everyone else something to put on the calendars…something to look forward to.
“…The more people, the better. Let’s have some fun.”
She had a stroke in the time of COVID, and her manager stayed with her in the hospital
“One of my managers actually stayed on the couch in the room with me overnight, which was amazing since my family couldn’t be there.
“I was afraid to go to sleep because…you just don’t know what could happen, or [whether you will] wake up. I was so thankful for her. She kept reassuring me that they were checking on me and that I was in a great place with great people.”
When her daughter lost her life, caring teammates surrounded her with love
“Losing a child is one of the worst sorrows a parent can experience. My world has stopped moving, and now I just exist. However, the nugget of joy I do get is coming to my work family. They have been phenomenal. They have shared the tragedy alongside me and I feel will continue to do so. This deep loss has been embraced into our work life, and they have accepted me back with all my emotion and grief.
“They have offered support, love and compassion at a time when you fear that you’ll burst into tears or make people feel awkward or uncomfortable. They have been right there waiting to join me in the corner to make a circle.
“Our patients are so lucky to have such compassionate healthcare professionals to perform their diagnostic studies.”
Compassion is the heart of healthcare
“People make their careers in healthcare because they are compassionate, caring and want to make a difference. That’s as true now as it ever has been, and I hope it never changes. There is no other reason to be here.”
Painting for Pride and unity, in the middle of the pandemic
“I enjoy painting the windows to see people smile. That is why I also like to draw birthday cards for patients. It makes me feel good.
“Especially right now with everything going on, we wanted to show unity. So I went home and drew the design and the words for PRIDE. We all need to stand together as one.”
In the pandemic, ‘You might just be the lifeline’
“We all need each other in a way that we haven’t before. This pandemic has touched everyone in some way, not just patients and hospital staff. You never know whose life you’re influencing. Your actions matter. It could be a coworker, patient, family member, neighbor or just someone in the grocery store. You just might be the lifeline someone needs to get through this hard time.”
We’re right there with our teammates on the frontlines of the pandemic
“Our Employee Assistance Program team tries our best to provide compassion and care to our colleagues in the field. We do our best to listen and show compassion over the phone to help bring them comfort, so that they may carry on and care for our patients in need.
“When our own employees call in for help, it’s as if we are right there with them following every motion they’re making. It brings me peace that they know we are here for them.”
Taking calls–with compassion
“Showing compassion counts when I answer the phone to help patients. If they are calling in, you know it is not because everything is going great. Listening, understanding and showing concern is how I let our patients know Sutter Health cares about them.”
The honor of serving patients in their own homes
“Working in home health is very unique, because we get to serve our patients in the comfort of their own homes. I always approach my patients with compassion, knowing we are all one big family and treating them the way I treat my own, with sincerity and kindness. I am honored to serve our community while representing Sutter Health.”
Standing together in compassion
“Working in the psychiatric unit with young kids and teenagers can be the most mentally and physically exhausting job. But no matter what, when I come to work I know that my team will come together to make sure our patients are safe and feel heard. Most of the kids just want to feel validated. When they come to me and say, ‘Thank you for listening,’ that is the most rewarding part of my job.
“I love the team I work with because we truly stand together. When one of us needs assistance with a child, we all stand up willing to help.”
‘I thank the Lord for allowing me to help’
“Every patient that I have contact with, I treat them as if they were my own family or friends. No matter what the situation, I respect their values and treat them with dignity and kindness. I thank the Lord for allowing me to help every single person that comes to us in need.”
Caring for the parents of sick children
“As a mother, I understand how a parent may react to medical news about their child. It’s important to me to check in with parents after a physician or other care provider leaves the room, to make sure they’re comfortable with what they heard. I also help by referring them to our excellent spiritual care or social workers, if needed. And I encourage them to make sure their own needs are attended to, so they can stay strong for their child.
“It’s important to involve the parents in the care of their child as much as possible, making suggestions of how they can help. Sometimes, parents feel helpless, and this gives them something they can do.”
Taking time for extra care
“When I was a patient service representative, a patient’s ride home was delayed four hours. I wheeled her to the second floor to get picked up and gave her water–but she mentioned she hadn’t had anything to eat yet that day. So I ran to the café and bought her a sandwich. It felt so good that I was able to be a compassionate and caring patient service representative taking care of our patients.”
Service with a smile, every time
“I treat every patient like a friend. I enter the room with a smile on my face. I listen to them with compassion while making sure their information is accurate. I make sure to thank the patients and their family upon leaving the room, again with a big smile.
“A smile sure goes a long way!”
‘Angels’ comfort in final moments
“Patients facing death are at their most vulnerable, especially if they’re all alone. Recognizing that, our nursing team initiated “angels at the bedside” to ensure that patients who have no family with them do not die alone. A volunteer “angel” comes in on their own time to sit with the patient until they pass.
“These “angels” make a difference in the patient’s final moments. And the act of being there creates a feeling of satisfaction, an accomplishment that can only be achieved through caring.”
‘I noticed an elderly woman in the garage…’
“I walk every day around campus and through the parking garage. One day, I noticed an elderly woman walking around the parking garage. During my second trip around the floor, she was still pacing, so I asked her if I could help.
“She said she thought her car was stolen because she couldn’t find it. She was clearly upset, sharing that she came to the hospital to visit her friend, then learned she had already been discharged. I offered to help her look for the car before we called security.
“She described her car, recalling it was dark where she was parked. That’s when I realized she had parked on the lower level, beneath us. I offered to go with her down the elevator—and together, we found her car. I stayed with her until she drove away.”
You never know what could happen
“An older gentleman walked in to our department looking for the Emergency Department, which is on the other side of our building. He was very out of breath and was walking with a cane. I offered him some water, but he didn’t want it. I offered him a wheelchair, but he declined that also. I sat with him while he caught his breath. I didn’t want to leave him to walk alone, so I walked behind him to the ED to give him a helping hand in case he needed it.
“I made sure he got checked in with registration when he got to the ED. You just never know what could happen to someone when you leave them, so it’s good to follow up and trust your instincts.”
Easing patients’ anxiety in the clinic
“One of my biggest drives to be in medicine was to be one of the first people that makes the patient feel comfortable. I really try to make patients feel at ease – they come to the waiting room and they may feel anxious in an unfamiliar place. It’s our job to help them settle in and make them feel like they are in a warm place and not just an institution.”
In difficult times, understanding parents’ struggles
“It’s really hard to be a parent – especially the past two years. My goal is to partner with parents, to be a sounding board, offer options and help them think about A, B and C so they can make decisions that they feel are best for their children. Parents can’t do it all on their own.”
They sew superhero capes for Sutter’s littlest patients
“This is our connection to purpose. This humbly reminds us that we are here for the patients. But it’s also fun to watch software engineers try to sew.”
Helping young patients process emotions through play
“Play helps children to feel comfortable in the hospital to express themselves and develop resilience. Through play, children can process their emotions about their medical experiences, be in control and feel empowered, as well as gain insights and learn coping skills.”
The importance of breaking the silence around Type 2 diabetes
“If you have Type 2 diabetes, don’t be silent. Don’t be afraid to be vocal, because there are many of us in the same boat. The more knowledge you have, the better you can deal with it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Having diabetes is not your fault.
“For those who are not suffering with an invisible disability, I would ask that you try to think carefully before making assumptions about other people.”
Her care inspired a patient’s career path
“I remember praying for a miracle. Please let this girl be all right. I was worried about her and thought about her. I hoped she would get better.”
Recharging and connecting with teammates–through writing
“Using my creativity alongside other medical providers has made me feel more connected to my colleagues and my work—it’s been a huge social support.”
Caring about patients–and listening to them
“Serving our patients and families better goes beyond healing illnesses and injuries. It involves listening, understanding their needs and co-designing improvements together.”
She’s cool and calm, and she cares about patients
“When a patient asks if I’m coming back tomorrow, I know it’s because they feel safe and want to see me again. It means I’ve brought them some level of comfort when they are scared and don’t feel good, and that means a lot.”
Caring, empathy and the importance of seeing people as they are
“I have a lot of real, true, deep pride in being a gay male. Intrinsically, it brings a unique perspective to how I see people, including patients and the community. It gives me a real appreciation for marginalization and recognizing the importance of inclusion firsthand—because we all have a need to be seen, heard and felt, exactly as we are.”
Treated with compassion and respect when his husband was ill
“Our experience at CPMC could not have been better. Everyone was so respectful. People think of San Francisco as a liberal bastion, but healthcare can be a conservative field. I hadn’t let the doctors know I was married to a man. When it came down to it, though, I never had to worry. We were never treated any differently from any other couple.”
Celebrating positive patient experiences through compassion and caring
“We showed others kindness and compassion in unexpected ways. We honored and recognized all individuals and teams who make a lasting impact on our patients and families. We also celebrated how our diversity supports an excellent care experience for those receiving and delivering care.”
Compassionate remembrance during the pandemic
“It’s important for doctors-in-training to process the grief. Working long hours in the hospital, it’s really hard to find the time and place to reflect on that loss. By having the tree and the memorial candle, the chief of the service works with the residents to reflect on the patient and to acknowledge the loss and reflect on who they were as a person.”
Caring Lunar New Year wishes from volunteers to staff
“I’ve been the clinical nurse specialist here at Alta Bates Summit 22 years, and I know that it’s often the small acts of kindness and support that people remember years after they’ve left our care. The hospital staff and I have been touched by the thoughtfulness of these young women.”
Compassion and pandemic patient care
“Patient care is my priority. I take care of patients the same as I would take care my family. Just a little thing such as a blanket, a cool wipe to clean their face or listening to their story is what brings comfort to the patient. I want to be able to support them when their family not around them, especially in the last year. I am proud that, with my knowledge and explanation of the respiratory therapy and breathing techniques, I can help my patients get better.”
She knows compassion heals, so she listens and cares
“When an older patient called to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, he trusted me enough to tell me about his late wife, his high school sweetheart. He carries her life with him even though she is gone. I listened, and I made him feel safe enough to confide in. It’s calls like this that make my day. They’re the reason why I love helping our patients.”
The importance of connecting, even in the midst of the pandemic
“These days, we’re all experiencing psychological impact from the COVID pandemic, and it’s more important than ever to stay connected with others.”
The honor of caring for patients at difficult times
“At times, I have shed tears after caring for someone, and that’s OK. It’s OK to empathize and share in their experience. There is joy in the sharing of someone’s life, even in the darkest time.”
Caring means not assuming you already know
“I’m a disabled person raising a disabled child. The most important thing I want people to know is this: Don’t assume somebody can’t do something because of what you think you perceive.”
She’s dedicated to caring for others
“I make sure our nurses provide professional, kind and equal care to all patients who come through these doors.
“I’m proud of what we do for Lake County. Our community ranks lowest in the state in many health measures because of long-standing disparities, but at Sutter Lakeside Hospital we are changing that. We have excellent quality scores and patient experience ratings, and we are here for everyone.”
She brings music and joy to hospitalized patients
“Having something and someone to look forward to in a place that can sometimes be scary or associated with negative memories and emotions can prove to be very important.”
Midwifery in the age of COVID-19: caring and more personal than ever
“You can have only one healthy support person there. The one-person rule has created some very intimate experiences for the woman and her partner. Women don’t feel they have to get presentable afterward, and they can both just take their time. They can relax and get to know their baby.”
She tells parents to be kind to themselves as the COVID-19 school year begins
“We want to acknowledge that bad days are going to happen, that’s part of life and expected during a stressful time. We want to look at how we can move forward compassionately. To mentally gear up, parents should aim for routine but also lots of flexibility.”
Read more here.
The challenge of putting compassion into action
“We are living in a time when there seems to be a shift in the paradigm by which this country sees its populace, but there’s still not enough real conversation is going on. Everybody wants to be heard, but no one wants to listen. This is why compassion and caring are so important to me. If you are to care, you have to recognize that fairness and access to resources have to be afforded to all, or the care you propose to have is meaningless.
“Sutter defines Compassion & Caring as treating those we serve and one another with concern, kindness and respect. These are powerful words, and to live by them takes empathy, dedication and commitment. Sutter has accepted the challenge to raise the bar in healthcare, and as a Sutter employee, I must strive to raise my workplace bar as well.”
She knows they’ve been sheltering in place alone, and she cares
“I make it a point to ask our older patients how they are holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic and if they have family or friends available to help. Coming to the doctor is often the first time they have left the house since sheltering in place was started. I want them to know we not only care about their health but also their well-being.”
Creating a way to lift one another up–through pictures
“I think people always like looking at pictures. Everyone wants to look at human face. We’re a small hospital, and there’s a lot of love and a family feeling.
“The idea is to use your energy to help encourage other people on this long journey and to let your words of encouragement uplift and sustain people around you.”
Compassionate care for cancer patients vulnerable to COVID-19
“We have to be more supportive than ever for our patients. Their fear is so great right now. They know if they get coronavirus, their chance of survival may not be good. And they can’t have loved ones accompany them to their appointments right now. Imagine coming in for your first chemotherapy treatment and not having someone sit with you.
“We give them emotional support anyway, but we give them more right now.”
COVID-19 and the art of spiritual companionship
“The seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic has propelled the entire world into a threshold state of what came ‘before’ and whatever may come ‘after.’
“For most of us, this threshold space is unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. For hospital chaplains, whose roles are to support patients, families and staff, these spaces of uncertainty are where we practice the art of spiritual companionship.”
‘We have come together in the time of COVID-19’
“We have worked together to provide safe testing in our parking lot while still protecting our patients’ privacy. This has been an effective and efficient method for testing and triaging patients who are showing symptoms—but without having them come into our building and risk the possibility of spreading the virus further.
“Our patients have many needs. As we care for them in the parking lot, our providers, supervisor and staff approach every patient with the same compassion and care as we do inside our clinic.”
Reaching out to make a difference
“We have patients from all walks of life. They’re all seeking the same thing, someone who cares and will help them through their cancer journey. That compassion is something we breathe in our department. Our patients are stressed and anxious, and the only thing that touches them is reaching out and holding their hand.
“That was the idea behind the canned tuna drive. There are people in the community who need high-quality protein. It’s not just the homeless. It’s the working poor. It’s single mothers and their children. Sometimes, it’s been our staff struggling to pay for day care and provide meals. That was our goal, just to provide meals, even if it’s for someone we never met.”
I can come to work and be comfortable with who I am
“Ihave a very kind and understanding team of employees, who are mindful of talking to me face to face. I tell them that I may not hear them otherwise. And I have a very understanding management team who make a conscious effort to look at me when they talk. It really does mean a lot.
“I’m lucky I can come to work and be comfortable with who I am. It raises other people’s awareness of hearing loss, as well.”
‘We rise to the occasion with love’
“In pediatric specialties, patients are often challenged with serious, chronic conditions that require time, patience, understanding and trust in us as providers. Our patients become like family because their experience is emotional and personal. It is not unusual for us to cry with them. As providers, we are relentlessly dedicated because we know how important our care is for these struggling families.
“It is not unusual for our staff to go out of our way to help a family feel at home in our office. We do what it takes to create an environment that is welcoming and loving for some of the most challenging conversations these families will have to endure. We provide immaculate care. Time and again, we rise to the occasion together with love, compassion and strength for each other and those we serve.”
She stepped out of her comfort zone
“On my way to work one morning, two people were on the elevator with me–and later, during my break, they were still in that elevator. I tried to talk to them, but they just stared at me. I asked if they needed help. Still no answer from them. I felt maybe they were scared and didn’t want to talk to strangers because they were lost. And maybe they didn’t understand what I was saying.
“I started to sign to them, asking if they needed help, and they reacted. They were deaf. I stepped up out of my comfort zone with these patients. After I found out where they needed to go, I was able to walk them to where they needed to be. I am glad I was there and attentive to their needs.”
She crochets for charitable causes
“I crochet baby blankets and scarves for several charities. Donating to the causes that I care about not only benefits the charities themselves, it is also deeply rewarding. It improves my sense of well-being in the world by doing my part for people.
“I am blessed to have been taught to crochet, and I feel that it is my purpose to give back to others in any small way I can. And it’s fun to see how my items turn out once finished.”
‘It’s the little things’
“It’s the little things that make a huge difference, because those things decrease the anxiety of the patient and the people with them. If all the patient can focus on is how uncomfortable or scared they are in the hospital environment, then they can’t hear anything about their diagnosis, medication or treatment plan.” Read more on NewsPlus.
‘I hope someone would do that for me’
“I try to put myself in the patients’ shoes. I know how easy it would be to say, “Nope, I can’t do that,” but her dad gave her this watch, and I said, “She can’t leave our hospital and lose something so valuable to her.” I just wanted to make her happy, and I hope someone would do that for me.” Read more onNewsPlus
With compassion toward each other–and toward clients
“As Employee Assistance Program therapists, we make sure we are being empathetic and compassionate to patients. But we also consult with each other when difficult cases arise—and we provide support to each other after difficult calls or interventions. We are a cohesive group, and we have a clinical huddle before the safety huddle to make sure we communicate the needs of patients even and prioritize tasks
“We are dealing with a very vulnerable population, so when we support and help each other, we provide quality and compassionate services to patients.”
Extra kindness in the rain
“One of my co-workers always looks out for patients in our parking lot when it is raining. We do not have covered parking—so if she sees a patient who needs assistance, she runs out with her giant umbrella and escorts the patient as they come in to the clinic. And if she’s not available, she’ll ask someone else to grab the umbrella and get out there for the patient! It always helps to give patients a little extra kindness.”