What’s In a Handshake… | Ines Dahne-Steuber
A few years ago, I attended a Fresenius Kidney Care (FKC) Clinical Leadership Conference. This is always an inspiring and energizing event to connect, share knowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of our leadership teams who care for our patients via our In-Center, Home Therapies and Inpatient Services settings. I very much look forward to being able to attend these in-person events again in the future.
At one of the celebration events the 3,000+ guests of honor were greeted with a drumline after which company leaders were lined up to welcome everyone personally and express appreciation for everyone’s hard work and dedication to our patients and teams. I had the privilege to be part of this lineup.
About ten minutes into the meet and greet, I noticed that every hand I shook felt dry and cracked. I instantly remembered my days as a nurse and the countless times a day I would wash and sanitize my hands. It never seemed possible to have smooth hands. I remember wearing my cracked hands proudly as sort of a badge of honor that gave me the chance to talk about my work.
As I stood and shook hand after hand, I began to think about how many patients these hands care for with skill, care, and compassion. Thousands of hands shaken represent hundreds of thousands of patients, if not more. The evening at the Chicago Science Museum unexpectedly became the single most humbling and motivating event of my career — and I still get emotional when I recount this experience to others today.
In the Operational Excellence team which I am privileged to lead we are focused on finding ways to reduce cumbersome processes so that valuable time can be freed up and dedicated to spending time with patients. We understand that every admission that is processed smoothly, every medication that is shipped efficiently, and every prior authorization that is managed without delay free up meaningful time for our patient care teams to focus on providing world class medical care and encouragement and motivation for our patients. Over the years, the Operational Excellence team has created a number of Advisory Boards that are comprised of Nurses, Clinical Managers, Patient Care Technicians, Unit Secretaries and Vascular Access Managers, just to name a few. We collaborate to find the best solutions together and provide better experiences for our patients and teams. This is extremely rewarding and motivating for our team.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our wonderful nurses and care teams that serve at the frontline and behind the scenes. Your contributions are invaluable. If I shook your hand in Chicago or during any clinic visit, please know that my handshake does not just represent a greeting, but also my appreciation and my commitment to serving you.