Be inspired to set goals for yourself

By Stephen W. Earnhart, MS
CEO
Earnhart & Associates
Austin, TX

Like most, I was inspired by the rescue of the Chilean miners in October. I felt an enormous urge to accomplish something significant, to finish projects I had left dangling or follow up on other issues that individually weren't a big deal but collectively were. I've talked with others and have found that same new sense of purpose in them as well. Perhaps you, too, felt something.

I asked others what they wanted to do, what they felt motivated to change or accomplish. Outside of changes in their personal lives, this is what they wanted to focus on as it relates to their workplace:

  • Administrator of freestanding ASC in Kansas. "I felt overwhelmed with updating our surgeon preference cards. The task has been too daunting and no one wants to deal with it, and we have put it off for a couple of years. We decided that if those miners could live underground for 69 days — then we could do this, comparatively nothing, task."
  • Materials manager, 190-bed hospital in Texas. "My goal was to reduce our cost by 2% on our top 100 disposable items. We put together a team and a hit list of the vendors and have gone after them. We are optimistic that we can make it happen!"
  • Surgical tech, 450-bed hospital in Virginia. "I will admit to being somewhat lackadaisical in anticipation of what my surgeon wants at the table. Over the years I have slowly — and don't even know when it started — lost my enthusiasm for my job. Watching those miners come out of that tube has rejuvenated me to be the best I can be. I have already noticed a change in the looks I get from the surgeons. One even thanked me after the case for anticipating, even before he knew, what he needed. It is a good feeling to be the best you can be."
  • PACU nurse, freestanding ASC in California. "I have started looking at my patients more objectively and trying to understand their pain, confusion, and helplessness as they are wheeled into PACU. It is a simple thing, but I notice a big difference in me. I like it."
  • Receptionist, freestanding ASC in Texas. "I actually looked up the word "receptionist" on Google and it said the "title 'receptionist' is attributed to the person who is specifically employed by an organization to receive or greet any visitors, patients, or clients and answer telephone calls." While I have been doing my job for over five years, I had never looked at it like this. I also looked up the word "greet." It said, "Give a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition to (someone) on meeting." Many times in the past, being busy, registering patients, answering the phones and all, I often did not focus on the "polite" in my job. Now I am going to be the nicest, friendly, and most tolerant person in the center. It is my personal goal! Almost everyone that I have used my new attitude on has responded back to me the way I responded to them. It is great to be good at what you do!"

Just like more than one billion (1,000,000,000!) people who watched those miners come out of that hole, if I can change my goals to have just a few notice — even if it is only me — then it is worth it. [Earnhart & Associates is a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of outpatient surgery development and management. Contact Earnhart at 13492 Research Blvd., Suite 120-258, Austin, TX 78750-2254. E-mail: searnhart@earnhart.com. Web: www.earnhart.com. Tweet address: Earnhart_EAI.]