Best places to work

Each year Modern Healthcare publishes a list of the “Best Places to Work”.   The list reveals the top 100 best places to work in healthcare and I read the report each year and find myself thinking “it would be great to work at one of those places” then I come back to reality and I think to myself “I’m really lucky because I work at the best place for me every day”.

I’m always a little wary about awards like the “Best Places to Work” award.  It seems it would be very difficult for someone or something to evaluate every healthcare organization in the country and then decide on the 100 best – how would you know?  To me there’s a lot that goes into making a place the “best” and what makes a place the “best” for you might not be what makes it “best” for me.  For example I know some really great RN’s who work in Cardiac Rehab three days a week.  These RN’s have critical care experience and they are very committed to providing high quality care.  They are also very committed to providing a high level patient experience. 

Cardiac Rehab is a unique setting in that most of the patients are recovering from a major event like bypass surgery or heart attack and they are very motivated to get better.  The nurses who work in this setting do not get to administer medications and they do not take care of critically ill patients even though that’s their background and their original calling.  Most of the RN’s in Cardiac Rehab at GVMH work 2 or 3 days per week and they work with a relatively healthy and a very motivated patient population (please don’t misunderstand me to think the job is any less important or that it’s easy because it is very fast paced and if you are not a great multi-tasker you will fail miserably and the job will seem overwhelming these nurses care for 30 patients a day and constantly have one eye on the patient and one eye on a telemetry monitor).  These RN’s work in Cardiac Rehab for a couple of reasons 1) they love the patients and enjoy working on the recovery and prevention side as opposed to the sickness and healing side 2) they are at a point in their career that full-time work or 12 hour shifts do not work for their family obligations, many of these RN’s have small children and having days off during the week with their kids is a priority.

For the RN’s in my example the “best” job for them is Cardiac Rehab because it meets their needs.  The same is true of the RN working in ICU, the “best” job for him or her is providing bedside care in ICU because it’s a calling and it allows him/her to find purpose in his/her work.

I found that to be picked as one of the “Best Places to Work” a hospital must volunteer to participate.  Once an organization notifies Modern Healthcare that they’d like to participate they complete a survey and their staff completes a satisfaction survey.  In 2011 327 health care companies participated in the survey and 100 were identified as the “100 Best”.  

This year a health care organization that participated in the survey had a 1 in 3 chance of being selected as “the best”.  I do not want to down play the importance of the award and the great organizations that were identified.  I know several of the organizations on the list and I have friends and peers at several of the organizations and I believe they are probably great places to work.  (What I want you to understand is, it’s very possible that THE greatest place to work didn’t even make the list!)

I also believe GVMH is a great place to work and for me it makes the list of “Top PLACE to Work”.  None of us work here against our will and all of us have options.  It’s easy to be cynical at times and only focus on the things we can do better as an organization or think about the things that we would like to see done differently and that’s only natural.  It’s natural because we understand our weaknesses and our shortcomings better than anyone else and understanding our shortcomings is what helps make us better each and every day.  

No organization is perfect and every organization has its strengths and weaknesses.  There’s a saying “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and that saying applies to this discussion.  To some degree we are all responsible for our own happiness but there’s a lot our employer can do to affect our happiness and for the most part GVMH does a great job being responsive to staff needs and creating an environment that makes GVMH a great place to work.

If I can personally do anything to help make GVMH the greatest place you’ve ever worked, please let me know.  Feel free to call my office at extension 7105 or call me at home 885-9363 the only thing I ask in return is that you identify one thing you can do to help make GVMH the best place the rest of us work.

I strongly believe that if each of us focuses on what we can do to make GVMH a great place to work for our co-workers and colleagues then GVMH will be “The Greatest Place” any of us could work!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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