A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
The truth is that Susan has the wrong title. Officially, she is known as a “Surgery Scheduler.” It sounds simple enough and self-explanatory. But, let’s examine that more closely. The next time you are provided service, ask how you felt as it was being delivered: worse, the same or better?
Every time I spoke with Susan, I absolutely felt better. I noticed others in the hospital and doctor’s offices provided me with a similar level of experience. A few, however, left a distinctly negative impression. As a result, I left the interaction in a hostile mood thinking about how I might avoid this person or situation in the future. When the procedure to be performed itself produces anxiety, positive interactions ahead of it become very important.
When I shared these observations with Susan, she understood that her job was more than that of a surgery scheduler. More than anything else, Susan is a “chief hand holder” – a title she takes just as seriously as her official one. Her personality, seriousness of purpose and understanding of human nature helped me gain a sense of comfort that I had chosen both the right hospital and doctor.
“Lots of people are anxious about surgery,” she said. “My job is to help them deal with it.”
The connection established with Susan gave me context for the experience I felt during my first visit with the surgeon. It was a day when many patients were meeting him for the first time, and other post-op patients were returning to be released from restrictions on driving and other normal daily activities. For the latter group, it was like a family reunion – people who had previously not known one another celebrating that the experience was over and had been as easy as everyone had promised, very much worth the inconvenience and anxiety.
Those of us still facing surgery looked on this scene, wondering if our experience would duplicate what we were now watching. Would it? We shall see.
Be sure to catch my previous daily blog posts about this journey!