Feeling Thankful for a Positive, Supportive ‘Work Family’

Posted on Mon, Nov 23, 2015
Feeling Thankful for a Positive, Supportive ‘Work Family’

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and it made me think about family and the concept of a “work family.”

We often use the terms “work husband” or “work wife,” which usually refers to the person we work most closely with or the person who we believe holds us most accountable outside of our direct supervisor.

It’s no surprise that our professional connections and relationships mimic and resemble our families. Most professionals spend just as much time, and in many cases more time, at work than at home.  When you also factor in the emotional investment that most healthcare professionals put into their work, it’s no wonder that there’s frequently a sense of family at work. I’ve built long-lasting friendships, personal and professional connections, and life-long relationships with those who I’ve worked with in the emergency department.  No matter how many times I’ve moved, I still know that those “family members” would have my back in a heartbeat, be there for me if and whenever I needed them, and I would just simply need to ask. Many times I don’t even need to do that; they are there without me having to reach out. 

It’s important to work in an environment where a family- like atmosphere is encouraged.  This can build relationships and trust, which fosters creativity, innovation and teamwork.  It also can lead to some healthy competition and pushing one another to work at the highest level.  Now, like in all families, there can be bickering, fighting and all that other “stuff” that comes with families, but for the most part, it’s a very positive environment.

The good news is that this sense of family is not limited to small businesses.  I’m proud to be part of a large organization that fosters this in its employees.  I’m surrounded and supported by some incredibly talented, unique and amazing individuals, all of whom I consider part of my “work family.” There is no mandate or directive saying that our company must function this way. It’s our embedded culture, and you can see it in virtually every department in the organization.  It doesn’t matter what division, region, specialty or office you work in, there is a sense of family and team throughout.

Healthcare organizations that embrace this concept, along with hiring right, embracing innovation and rewarding and recognizing are positively positioned to exceed. It’s a culture that produces satisfied employees, which leads to satisfied patients which means satisfied clients. The ROI for creating a culture like this is immeasurable, and the potential is limitless.

My work environment is just one of many blessings that I will count this Thanksgiving.

Ginger Wirth

Ginger Wirth, RN, joined EmCare in 2013 as a Divisional Director of Clinical Services for the Alliance Group. Her goal is to make positive changes in healthcare by helping others focus on quality, excellence, and the overall patient experience. Wirth regards her role as Director of Clinical Services as the ideal opportunity to partner with nursing, physician and facility leaders to make positive changes to the entire patient care experience. Her 20-plus years in nursing have been dedicated to quality and excellence, promoting overall positive outcomes and safety for patients.

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