Selected Podcast

I Make a Difference

Heather Leblanc, RN gives an employee testimonial and explains how the service at Palmdale Regional differs from other hospitals, and how Palmdale Regional supports its employees.
I Make a Difference
Featured Speaker:
Heather Leblanc, RN
Heather Leblanc is a RN with Palmdale Regional Medical Center.
Transcription:

Melanie Cole (Host):  Welcome. In today’s Discover the Difference testimonial, we have Heather Leblanc.  She’s an employee and nurse at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. Hi Heather, so glad to have you joining us on the show. Please tell us what is different about your job at Palmdale compared to other jobs you've had? 

Heather:  I believe at our job; we really take pride in putting our patients first for going above and beyond caring for our patients, for establishing relationships with both our patients and our coworkers to help our patients have the best possible stay and to hopefully make a difference in their healthcare. 

Host:  As a Palmdale Regional employee, you’re an expert on service excellence.  How do you think about that?  What does that mean—service excellence? 

Heather:  I really believe that it does mean going above and beyond doing extra things for our patients—not only addressing the needs of our patients, but also the needs, maybe, of their families.  I think when you can address the patient and their family as a whole, it helps relieve any stress or any pressure that the patient may be feeling and also the families, and I think that it just makes for a better overall experience.    
Host:  What do you do along those lines that makes a difference for the people you care for when you say, “above and beyond”?  What does that mean? 

Heather:  It could be something as simple as offering family members a cup of coffee, or you know, inquiring about their needs—have you eaten something for yourself today?  You know, offering, you know, to sit with a patient if you have a moment while the family can go and take a break or get something to eat.  It sounds so simple, but, you know, helping your patient brush their hair because a lot of times, you know, they don’t bring all of their personal necessities.  So, it’s just, you know, it’s going above and beyond offering those little things that just really helps the patient to feel better about their—about their stay and about their healthcare. 

Host:  I can hear the passion in your voice, Heather, and as someone who goes above and beyond, in your opinion, how does Palmdale Regional support its employees?  What are—what are they giving back to you for all that you’re giving to patients? 

Heather:  They do recognition—monthly recognitions.  They offer, you know, employee appreciation lunches.  They, you know, give us tokens to maybe get a free meal in the cafeteria or to get some coffee—to get something, you know, a snack from the gift shop.  They do a really good job about our monthly employee recognition.  We have the Service Excellence Team that’s always very rewarding and acknowledging of the hard work that’s done at Palmdale Regional.

Host:  Well, along those lines, you’ve won Employee of the Month and Service Excellence awards.  You can be humble if you want, but obviously, there is something unique, Heather, and terrific about how you do your job.  What do you think that is?  Is it attitude, a way of approaching the job, your ability to stay on task?  What do you think is the reason that you’ve gotten these recognitions?

Heather:  To be honest, from the very beginning, my motto and thought process has always been when you enter a patient’s room, you know, you get to know the patient as not just a room number, but as somebody’s family member.  You know, I try to think about this patient that’s now in front of me.  At one point in time, they were somebody’s infant that they brought home from the hospital.  They are now somebody’s grandparent or somebody’s sibling, somebody’s parent.  Whether or not the family is there to help support them or not—sometimes they’re not—so I try to look at them like I want to fill that role.  I want to, you know, provide that family setting—that care that they may not be getting.  I always just try to look at my patients as if they were my family.  Sometimes, you know, it just takes a few minutes to hold someone’s hand or just to, you know, listen.  A lot of the times our patients just need somebody to listen to them and so just, you know, taking that couple of extra moments doing that.  Of course, staying on task, you know, staying really organized also helps because anytime you do anything above and beyond what it is expected, it does take extra time.  So, you know, it’s important to stay organized, to have—develop relationships with your coworkers and with the additional ancillary staff—the doctors, the respiratory therapists, the housekeepers, the dietary.  All of those little things, once you can establish those relationships, and you have a good rapport with them, you know, if you need that extra item, or you need that extra stuff throughout the day, or you’re concerned about your patient, and you call respiratory, and you know, tell them who you are and, “Hey, I’m a little worried about my patient, can you come check them out?”  You know, I really strongly believe in establishing and building those relationships with the ancillary teams at Palmdale Regional (5:30), and it does certainly make for a smoother day and a more successful approach to patient care.  

Host:  What a wonderful approach to patient care that you have, Heather.  In your experience, what does your community think when they think of Palmdale Regional?

Heather:  I’ve had nothing but positivity in response to Palmdale Regional.  I know patients having private room makes a huge, huge difference, and I know they’ve touched on that before, but I really cannot express how important it is, and how necessary it is to provide patients with a private room.  I believe the response from the community has also been, you know, how clean Palmdale Regional is, how friendly the staff are, you know.  When you walk in, you get a smile.  So, yeah, I think that those things are really important.

Host:  Well, they certainly are.  Do you have any final thoughts?  Something that you would like Palmdale Regional Medical Center to know about how you feel about working there, about the patients.  Kind of give us your best testimonial as it were.

Heather:  Palmdale Regional, for me, has been my home when I first became a nurse, almost five years ago.  Palmdale Regional was the first place that I got a job as a RN, and I have just been beyond grateful for all of the different opportunities that have been offered to me.  There’s all kinds of committees, different teams, you know, that you can be on that I have either been asked to be a part of or have, you know, voluntarily become a part of.  I feel that they really try to get the employee’s opinion on how things, you know, how they’re working or how they could work better.  I just am really grateful for, you know, all the opportunities and the growth that I’ve had as a nurse at Palmdale Regional, and a lot of it has to do with, you know, the Service Excellence Team, with my coworkers, with the different projects that they’re doing, and so, I’m just—I’m really grateful, and I feel very dedicated to Palmdale Regional.

Host:  Thank you so much, Heather.  What a wonderful segment and what a great testimonial.  Thank you again for joining us.  This is Palmdale Regional Radio with Palmdale Regional Medical Center.  Please visit www.discoverpalmdaleregional.com to see more about Heather’s story.  Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Palmdale Regional Medical Center.  The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.  This is Melanie Cole; thanks so much for your time today.