How lending a hand in a parking ramp built a meaningful connection between nurse and patient
A visit to the doctor’s office or the hospital can be an overwhelming experience for patients and families. Add on to that experience trying to navigate a large campus like UI Health Care with multiple parking options, and it’s easy to understand how even a small gesture of help could mean so much to our patients and families. So, when Kendra Milroy, RN, a staff nurse on the Adult Surgical Specialty Unit, encountered a patient’s family member paying for parking in a ramp, she quickly walked over to show them an easier way.
Forging connections beyond the job
“I was leaving the hospital after visiting my husband,” her nominator writes. “Kendra noticed me paying for parking and motioned me to pull to the side. We got out of our cars, and she showed me parking information on MyChart by using her phone.”
Milroy aims to bring joy to her job every day, even during unexpected moments in her daily routine. She figures that if she remains upbeat, those around her will, too. It’s a simple, yet effective mindset to treating patients and their families. In fact, her positive attitude and kind gesture earned her a DAISY Award.
“She is such a caring person and persistent,” said her nominator. “She has given great care to my husband during his many admissions to UI Hospitals & Clinics. Kendra really warmed my heart.”
Given Milroy’s positive perspective, working on the Adult Surgical Specialty Unit is an ideal place for her, as teamwork is essential to her role.
“Our unit can be heavy in terms of acuity, so working as a team is really important,” says Milroy. “A lot of us have questions, and we rely on each other. It just takes showing that you’re willing to do the work to be a team player to get others on board.”
Milroy adds that working at an academic medical center, she learns so much. “My first year as a nurse, I learned more than I did in nursing school. To someone who loves learning, it’s a great place to be.”
Keeping a positive perspective in—and out—of work
So, how does Milroy maintain her cheery demeanor at work? For starters, she relaxes by fishing and being outside in nature during her free time. Her two children, though—both toddlers—are what mainly keep her grounded.
“My kids put things in perspective for me,” she says. “They make me smile; they teach me things. It’s so fun to watch them learn and grow.”
And when it’s time to return to work, that attitude carries over.
“No day is the same, which I like. It’s not mundane,” Milroy says. “And I do like the social aspect—learning about the families I’m treating. When we face each day with a positive attitude and treat others how we want to be treated, we really can breed a culture of positivity and respectfulness.”