Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | August 4, 2020

Leaders Experience Day in Others Shoes

As part of Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Walk in My Shoes Day, more than a dozen leaders spent several hours going to where the work is done.

The day is designed to understand what team members deal with on a day-to-day basis—the challenges, the great things, and how it all impacts patient care. It also affords leaders time to reflect on a day through the eyes of another team member.

Elizabeth Larson, Service Line Director for Neurosciences and Behavioral Health, said her experience shadowing Katherine Henderson in Employee Health opened her eyes to what goes on behind the scenes that no one thinks about, especially during the COVID-19 response.

“Katherine is functioning as an employee health nurse, a case manager for people throughout Duke, and she’s doing it all on top of taking care of our new employees,” said Larson.

For some leaders who shadowed team members, the experience meant dressing the part. Brian Sloan, Chief Operating Officer, traded his suit and tie for scrubs and full personal protective gear to see the day through the eyes of team members in the hospital’s COVID-19 testing facility. Sloan spent more than two hours shadowing multiple team members as they ventured outside in the 80 degree heat to administer COVID-19 tests.

“It is not crazy hot, but wow, it would only take 10 degrees to be pretty warm,” he said. “We owe these folks a huge thanks. I am impressed with their positive attitudes and the way each one of our team members interacted with our patients.”

Diane Taylor, Clinical Nurse IV in the Pain Clinic, who was deployed to the testing facility during the COVID-19 response, was one of five team members that took advantage of several minutes of downtime to chat with Sloan.

“Having him here really opened the lines of communication,” Taylor said. “It was good to see. It made me feel like my voice was heard.”

Alyson Gordon, Chief Human Resources Officer, spent a portion of the day at the information desk in the front lobby of Duke Raleigh Hospital during the peak of inpatient visitation hours. There, she had a front row seat to view not only the hospital’s new visitation badge process, but the health screening efforts. The experience, she said, served as a reminder of the importance of more fully understanding everyone’s role and how the COVID-19 response has affected their jobs.   

“There are people that are excited about the opportunity to serve and to help those that are in need,” said Gordon. “They are fearless. Our team is truly fearless. I am honored to be a part of an organization with so many fearless team members.”

–By Karla Gomez (Summer Intern) and Erin McKenzie

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