Inspirational Health Care Quotes

nurses stethescopeI have been a nurse for over fifteen years.  In that time, I have come across many types of healthcare professionals with different means that they use to internally motivate themselves.

As a teacher, I always told my students that no one ever sets out to be a bad nurse.  It’s decisions along the way that make it happen.  It’s moments of desperation.  But I also told them that their day starts before they even exit their car.  The decision to be a good nurse or sub par begins in your brain.  What do you do to motivate yourself?

Often times I have a verse or a saying to help myself remind me of why I am there and that my patients actually deserve good service.  They are sick and not at their best, but neither am I when I am in sick.   It is my job as a nurse and as a fellow human being to treat them with the utmost respect and dignity.  I must say on a side note, that niceness does not equal servant hood.

I came across a series of quotes from that I thought I would share.  As I go about my day, I try to remember the positives and why we are there.  Happy serving!

It doesn’t take an instant more, or cost a penny more, to be empathetic than it does to be indifferent.
Brian Lee

One kind word can warm three winter months.
Japanese Proverb

In an emergency, what treatment is given by ear?  Words of Comfort.
Abraham Verghese, MD

They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.
Patch Adams

Nurses: one of the few blessings of being ill.
Sara Moss-Wolfe

Nurses may not be angels, but they are the next best thing.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Dalai Lama

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
Mahatma Gandhi

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, CEO

Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.
Albert Einstein

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Bill Gates

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
Henry Ford

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless.
Mother Teresa

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
Jeff Bezos, CEO

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Damon Richards

To understand the man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasin.
Native American Proverb

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.
Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways

The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.
John Russell, President, Harley Davidson

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.
Lewis Carol

Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.
Tony Allesandra

You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.
Jerry Fritz

If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?
John Adams

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
Booker T. Washington

Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.

Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.
Leon Gorman, CEO L.L.Bean

Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.
Zig Ziglar

Revolve your world around the customer and more customers will revolve around you.
Heather Williams

The customer’s perception is your reality.
Kate Zabriskie, Author of: Customer Service Excellence: How to Deliver Value to Today’s Busy Customer

Every client you keep, is one less that you need to find.
Nigel Sanders

Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.
Sally Gronow, Welsh Water
Whether you are big or small, you cannot give good customer service if your employees don’t feel good about coming to work.
Martin Oliver, MD Kwik-Fit Financial Services

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The Hunt for Red Love

love heartLove is rumored to be beautiful and euphoric.  When we talk about it, people get misty eyed and nostalgic.  I personally think of a Norman Rockwell picture with two little kids holding hands or perhaps a tender embrace by people standing in their farm clothes.  The love I see in the world comes in different forms.  I remember as a child being told other languages had several words for love.  As I’ve grown up and life has been experienced, I see that as a necessity.

There is the friend I love.  My family loves each other with different feelings and emotions.  I can love my job or even my car.  To describe the attachments and energy we put into love would be more than a set of encyclopedias could explain.  Somehow we intuitively know these descriptions and types of love.

The commonality between the different types of love is that what we call the “heart” is always involved.  To love something or someone takes an act of giving on our part.  We feed the love for a situation or a person.  I often wonder if people are in love with each or with the situation, but that is an entirely different topic.

Giving of ourselves requires a risk on our part.  Sometimes the risk is small, other times it feels gargantuan.  It makes me think of gambling.  Will I win should I put myself out there?  The risk is the broken heart.

I have gone through more than one broken heart.  It is painful to repair your heart, but I know it can be done.  Many people say the scars are left on your heart and that only time can heal.  I like to believe in a total healing, without any scars or reminders.  That being said, I still don’t want to get my heart broken.

That’s when a friend made a very poignant comment.  He approached love with a Darwinian method.  It’s the survival of the fittest and whoever is aggressive in their approach will find love in the end.

That initially sounded foreign to my ears and did not resonate with my soul.  I did not totally dismiss the notion.  I took it into my brain and let it marinate a little.  After all, I was speaking with a man.  His mind works different than mine. I just wanted to make love out to be more gentle than a hunt or something to acquire.

He was right to say that if you don’t go after it, you won’t find it.  If you stay far away and try to protect yourself from heartbreak, your heart will never love.  You can avoid the pain, but you will miss out on much more than you can imagine.  It isn’t just about the feeling of love, but it’s the life that it brings that makes it so sought after.  If love is a drug, the side effects are spectacular.

My mind moved next to recovery of a heart break.  If your heart is broken or you are afraid of it being broken, how do you move on to the next step?  The idea immediately shot into my mind. To heal the broken heart, you must love.  Giving love will mend the heart.

It almost sounds counter intuitive.  Give when you think there is nothing there?  It is exactly in that moment of giving that your heart strings bind back together.  The brokenness of love lost, situations ending, life changes…all that makes our heart sing…is mended when we start to love others.

Love is expressed many ways.  I express love when I interact with my residents as a nurse.  When I am kind to the teller at the bank, that is love.  Living a life of love will ready your heart for the “big” love that the world searches after.  The answer was so simple and obvious.  I am a better me when I give love daily.

As life goes on, we all have secret chambers in our heart that need the light to shine in on.  There are feelings and words from years past that we forgot we still kept with us.  If we just love others, they will come out.  The chains that used to bind will be broken without a lot of tedious emotional work on our part.

The act of kindness and building friendships is the beginning of a healthy heart.  The answer to the question brought me joy.

I am going to hunt love.  Not because I desperately seek it, but because I am a warrior.  I will not be afraid of love or the possibility of a broken heart, when love is all around me.  I can create love.  There is no longer a risk, it is now a straight exchange.  When I give, so shall I receive.


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Legal Record

legal padA woman brought a pack of papers to me.  They were folded nicely.  Obviously fragile, I carefully unfolded them.  The creases were worn and delicate.  The legal size paper had shades of pale yellow and white contrasting against each other.  Her tidy handwriting stood out against the background of the paper.  Every line had an entry.  The year and the date were listed first and went back in chronological order.  Seven pages of entry over time.

She had listed every test, procedure and medical appointment she had.  To the side she made some small notations as to the outcome.  It was quite impressive.  I wondered if I could recall every appointment and the outcome for the past seven to ten years.  I smiled to myself at her fastidiousness and pondered what I should do with the information.  She had brought it to me in response to our facility asking for her immunization record.

I put it on my desk, not quite knowing what to do with the information.  I was enthralled by it.  It made me smile and brought a little joy as I looked at it.  I had something so carefully crafted by someone.  She had entrusted me with information about her life gathered over time.  It was her journey through healthcare.  It was her diary or journal in a sense.

I realized how important and precious it was.   She had carried it on her way to see her obstetrician and her cardiologist.  Her trials and struggles to maintain her health were documented.  The little “ok” stenciled beside tests gave my heart hope.  As she aged she kept trying to keep the health she had.  Then she had come to us.  Letting go of her journal was letting go of some of her control.  Some of her independence had gone and it is such a rare commodity.

I picked up the papers and had them copied to put in her chart.  It was better than any request for medical records could ever give me.  I needed to give it back to her.  She had let me see a glimpse of her path, but it belonged to her.  Her life belongs to her. As much delight as it gives me to see someone work to save what they love, it’s for her to manage.  I owe it to her to give her what she needs to make the most of it.  Give her the control back of keeping track.

We all have mementos of journey through life.  This is hers.  I gave it back, hoping she has the strength to continue documenting and that she will make an entry saying that she is back at home.

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Life in the Middle

I just finished cleaning my bathroom floor.  While that may be a task that is tiresome and uncomplicated, it wasn’t for me.

If you’ve been following, you’ll know I recently met a goal of significant weightmiddle loss.  Along with this comes new adventures long lost.  I get to wear shorts and feel comfortable in them.  However, my legs are almost neon white.  So I got a little spray on self tanner to help out.  It had a bronzer in it and when I sprayed it on my shins it looked fantastic.  So, I kept going.  A little spray here, then even out this part there.  I ended up spraying my whole body, even my back.  I used the entire spray can.  (I just want to add it looked great.)  I let my skin dry and went to bed.

I woke up and looked in the mirror.  I thought I still looked great.  Then I went into the bathroom to shower.  My white tile floor was a rusty brown color.  It didn’t look nearly as great as I thought my legs did.  Here I was tonight, cleaning up the bronzer off the floor.  It came up fairly easily, but I had to mop three times and to the point where I did part of it on my hands and knees.  As I was cleaning, I thought that perhaps I was the only person who would’ve done this.  This is not my first episode of cleaning up something or putting it right after I’ve gone a little overboard.

I pondered why I continue to do things like this.  As I was cleaning,  it became a little housework therapy.  I was not exactly pleased with what my end conclusion was.  I have Bipolar Disorder.  I have experienced life in the extremes.  Just like the mood swings between depression or mania, so have other things been in my life.

I view things black or white.  There is no gray for me.  In fact, that gray area makes me uncomfortable.  The middle road is often unfamiliar to me and feels like a vast wilderness with no direction.  I know I can deal with things when they are super powered and to the extreme.  I’ve had to do it and in a way I welcome the challenge.  I can focus all my energy and thoughts on that one issue or thing.  The problem with that is that the rest of my life suffers.

I like to look at my life in a positive way.  Even if something is unpleasant, I re-frame it in my mind so that it something good will come of it.  For example, losing a job can be horrific, but it may be God opening up a new chapter in your life or helping you grow personally.  I categorize life’s areas into degrees of good.

There is a saying that a little bit of a good thing goes a long ways.  I couldn’t help thinking today that a little bit of bronzer certainly went longer and further than I could have imagined.

One cup of coffee is so nice, but too much and you’re jittery and have diarrhea.  One piece of chocolate is delightful, but a whole bag of candy makes you feel sick, you stuff your emotions and you gain weight.  Forty hours of work a week pays the bills, but seventy-six hours a week and you have no social life and you wear yourself out.  One glass of wine is tasty and a social event, four glasses and you can get a DUI.  One date with your new significant other is so fun, but fifty in a row can ruin the relationship.  Sex feels great, but too much and you lose the emotional intimacy and it becomes commonplace. Even the good things in your life can turn and bite you back.

The problem with always having something good is that you want more.  You want to top that “good” and make it excellent.  I don’t think we should settle.  I just think that we have to balance out our focus on the good things so other areas don’t fall into decay.

I tried to think of something that was good that you could never get enough of.  Prayer came into my mind.  Certainly we can never pray enough.  But God never intended us to only pray and perhaps isolate.  He does want to commune with us, but He never meant for us to be alone.  You have to be with the Body of Christ and go out and touch people’s lives.

Life has to be balanced out.  I realize my brain works a little differently than others.  Perhaps I have allowed it to color my view on reality. Sometimes life has been very hard for me, so I do allow myself to have and do good things without feeling guilty.  I give myself a break from the cruelty that can be life.

I know that if I keep things maintained in other areas, just a little bit, my whole life runs smoother.  I think this concept comes naturally to some.  However, you don’t have to have a mental illness to live life in the extreme areas.

The middle of gray can be downright boring.  Instead of going with gusto at your current passion, you have to think first.  That’s no fun.  If you can stop and think for a second, your goal can be reached faster and you can go further.

When you travel in the black and white areas, you miss out on the calm serenity of the gray.  You can be blinded by the white so you don’t see things you need to do.  The blackness can cause you to stumble and get caught in the weeds.

Slow and steady can win the race.  One day at a time…

I’m not really someone to go slow and taking one day at a time seems fruitless.  I want to take ninety days.  If I can stop and smell the roses, I will appreciate where the gray road takes me even more.  That one piece of chocolate will be enough to satisfy me.  I won’t dread work, because it isn’t consuming my life.  I just need to take a moment and breath.  Do things for the experience and not for the end result.

If over spraying self-tanner can get me to think about this and change my life for the better, than I am one lucky person.  I might just buy another can, but spray with moderation in mind.


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Serengeti in the Midwest

The scenery in every part of the world varies greatly.  I live in an area that is mostly described as flat and treeless.  Some people might think it is boring.  It doesn’t have the grand and majestic steep angles of the Swiss Alps.  There is not a sandy beach with clear blue waters.  That doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful.

When I see the sweeping plains in the pale yellow  contrasting with the wide open sky, it is calming and clears my mind.  But as I drive to work, I often look at what is along those plains.   There is one moment that takes my breath away.

There is a view where the storm clouds descend.  Western Nebraska has changing weather that can turn on a dime.  It is a common joke, but creates a great sky.  Even after living here, I can look at the clouds and predict the weather.  I hardly need a weather report.  The smell and view of the mist and buildup above works better.

The grey of an impending thunderstorm and  darkens the bluffs, obscuring the view of the top.  It casts a shadow on the pale sandstone and turns them a deep purple.  The cold air blasting down causes steam to rise from the ground.

The mist begins to rise off the newly green grass of spring and I look into the valley where the river runs.  The train with it’s beat up cargo cars snakes along the side of the slowly flowing waters.  The trees are a stark contrast against the light mist of the sky.  Their black branches with barely visible leaves starkly stand out against the changing sky.

This visual transports me to another place and possibly another time.  I’ve traveled around the world, but never to Africa.  My Western Nebraska life is temporarily time warped.  It looks like what I would imagine the Serengeti might be like.

I don’t necessarily have a desire to travel there, but I always have a desire for new places and experiences.  The every changing landscape is a delight to me.  No matter where you live, there are pluses and minuses.  It is definitely a blessing that things change quickly here and if I can be transported to another place on my way to work, it’s a moment I wouldn’t change. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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