Janet Hooper was kind enough to escort me around the Women and Children’s unit at Fairfax the other day and I was impressed with their many unique and creative bulletin boards. One in particular that caught my eye was the “Shout Out the Fax” board created by Dr. Kathy Wolf. She started the program to encourage members of the team to support and acknowledge each other as well as folks from other units. This is done by writing cards thanking others for the everyday things done that make a difference to our colleagues and our patients. It’s not only about going above and beyond, it’s also when someone simply makes your day brighter and you want to “shout them out” with an acknowledgement card. The cards are placed in boxes and each quarter Dr. Wolf collects these cards to read and distribute to the recipients. She also chooses some extra special “Shout Outs” to acknowledge with award certificates and everyone celebrates at a breakfast reception.
I read a few of the cards and noticed that the same words were often repeated …. “always willing to help, such a team player, absolutely amazing, stepping in at the last minute, going above and beyond and such a positive attitude.” Oh, and one of the staff favorites, “Always willing to give her co-workers a free mini massage!”
I met Kate Callahan, a Nurse Manager in Labor and Delivery, on my rounds and she says that the cards really make the staff feel acknowledged by their peers and their team and have fostered a nice warm sense of community and appreciation.
Everyone is dealing with something. In life, it’s often the little things that make a difference and it’s also those little things that are sometimes over looked. This board is a wonderful way to capture a moment in time that would otherwise be quickly forgotten. Thank you Dr. Wolf for bringing out those niceties and reminding us of the huge impact we can make with a simple smile and offer to lend a hand.