October has special significance in the world of health care and at South Central Kansas Medical Center.

Susie Begay recognition for serving lunch at SCKMC
Photo by Clayton Pappan/South Central Kansas Medical Center

Susie Begay, a member of the SCKMC nutritional services team, serves lunch to hospital volunteers.

Several health-related specialties are recognized in October for their contributions to the care of others, including:

  • National Pharmacists Month;
  • Health Care Food Service Workers Week (Oct. 1-7);
  • Health Care Supply Chain Week (Oct. 1-7);
  • Nuclear Medicine Week (Oct. 1-7);
  • Physician Assistants Week (Oct. 6-12);
  • Case Management Week (Oct. 8-14);
  • Emergency Nurse Week (Oct. 8-14);
  • Health Care Facilities Week (Oct. 22-28).

Department team leaders use their specific week to build stronger relationships between staff and the rest of the hospital.

“The key to any successful department is good relationships — them knowing who you are, that you are competent to do your job and that they can trust you,” said Kendrell Holley, SCKMC’s respiratory therapy team leader.

“We have a very dedicated staff here. They are awesome to work as hard as they do.”

Christine Hamm, dietary manager, provided a similar message about her nutritional services staff.

“I love my team. Everybody does their very best,” she said.

“They definitely deserve more recognition because everybody works really, really hard to do their job to the best of their ability. I am very grateful for all of them.”

The recognition weeks also are the perfect time to raise community awareness about the roles various departments play in patient care.

“When it comes to respiratory, we’re the ones at the head of the bed making sure you are still breathing, utilizing whatever equipment or machines I have at my disposal,” Holley said.

“You may save a person’s life and they never know you played an integral part in allowing this person to continue on living, but I love knowing that I am part of a team that will enhance the quality of a person’s life.”

While respiratory therapy provides a hands-on approach to patient care, nutritional services are an equally essential step on the road to recovery.

“It is our job to make sure our patients get a nutritious, healthy diet because that will help them to get better and leave the hospital,” Hamm said.

“I think our food is good and we get a lot of compliments about it. We care about what we are making, and try to make it look presentable and taste good, too.”

The medical center holds a week-long celebration each May, during National Hospital Week, to recognize all staff and their dedication to health care.

However, the team leaders think the extra recognition shown during their specific weeks is meaningful to their staffs, as well.

“If you see a respiratory therapist, pat them on the back, shake their hand and thank them for what they do,” Holley said. “It is moments like that that will carry you further.”

This information was provided by South Central Kansas Medical Center Marketing Director Clayton Pappan.

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