3 "Codes" All Businesses Can Learn From Nurses
So in full disclosure, my wife is a nurse, and an incredible one at that.....
But that's not why I'm writing this post. So hang with me.....
This past weekend our life was flipped upside down when one of our twin 3 year old sons was admitted into the hospital.
Now, I hate everything about the medical field. I dislike hospitals. I dislike doctors offices. I dislike the feeling you get when you enter into anything where "medical" is part of the focus. It's honestly amazing I somehow got a nurse to marry me, because even as she talks about her day I often have to stop her because I just can't handle it.
But as I was going through this unexpected experience over the past few days, three things became very clear that I view as beyond important in the business world, but seem to be almost integrated into the DNA of nurses (and other healthcare personnel that we met). These 3 "rules" are often integrated into organizations and required of their people, but, in nursing, it's more than that. It's almost like it's their "code", and it comes natural.... which is what every business should strive for figuring out how to do with their employees.
#1. Patient (Customer) Experience is the absolute focus:
The nurses (and doctors) were focused on one thing.
Making sure our son had an experience that would help him (and us) get better.
As businesses, and schools, and pretty much everything else, isn't that our goal? Shouldn't we focus on creating experiences that are focused on the customer, and meeting their needs? Whether that's by helping to improve someone's knowledge, or assisting them in gaining confidence, or just making sure when they walk away from our presence they feel as if we helped them "get better."
#2. They hold Code #1 together no matter what they are dealing with:
As we entered the emergency room on Friday afternoon, you could tell it was a little bit of a fire storm. Trauma's coming over the PA, stretchers (with people in them) literally in the hallway as they were waiting for beds, and lines for procedures to occur. When we were moved to the floor and into the room he would be staying in, every single room we passed was full and overflowing with needs.
It happens, it's crazy, and it's part of all businesses.
You knew the nurses were swamped. You knew they were short staffed as you saw them frantically moving between rooms. But you absolutely never felt like your experience (#1) was short changed. When they walked into our room, they were focused on us, and they provided the best care that they could, and I greatly appreciate that.
Honestly, if it weren't for my wife knowing most of the nurses, there's no way I would have even known that they had a few call offs and were so short staffed that most of them should have been crying from pure stress & exhaustion.
#3. They LISTEN
This might be something that my wife didn't even notice because I think it just becomes part of who medical professionals are, but every single person that we dealt with..... the ER nurse, the Pediatric hospitalist in the ER, a different Pediatric hospitalist on the floor, the nurses who changed shifts every 12 hours, the secretaries, and anyone else who we happened to interact with, LISTENED.
They asked us what was going on. How we were doing. How Knox was. How Paxton was without Knox.
And then they went quiet.
And just listened.
It was honestly one of the first times where I felt like someone actually truly cared what we were saying, what was going on in our life, and wanted to sincerely help us get better, and put our lives back in order.
It provided a feeling of comfort, even in a time when I was a mess (but holding it together in front of my son! Except when I had to leave the room for his IV.)
When we were finally able to get our little man home, I couldn't help but think about these three things, and how I can incorporate them more into my every day life, my teaching, my business, and really hold them as part of my "code."
These are things that are easy to say we focus on, but often we miss. And we usually miss badly because we worry so much about the data, the strategy, our schedule, meetings, other commitments, etc., etc. That's important, don't get me wrong, but these are trump cards, that need to be played every, single, day.
Maybe for my next speaker series in my classes I'll invite nurses to talk about patient care, and what it truly means to provide an incredible customer service experience, how to hold it together when things aren't going well, and really listen..... because they're definitely doing something right.
Hopefully businesses, schools, and everyone else follow (or continue to follow) suit.
I'm beyond thankful I'm married to a nurse, but even more thankful my kids will learn these things every single day by watching who she is, and how she lives her life.
What are you waiting for?
Scott Grant is the President / CEO of Triple Threat Leadership, LLC,www.triplethreatleadership.com; Mentor of @TheOiler10, and an Assistant Professor of Business at The University of Findlay.
Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org; @MrGrant1161, or @3ThreatLeaders.