This is why I’m #BronsonProud
The story of my experience as a Bronson employee began in 1998, as a 16 year old high school student looking for a first time job. What I thought would be a temporary job in food service ended up lasting eight years! I worked in food service, both at Bronson Methodist Hospital and out at the Bronson Athletic Club deli, through high school, college and graduate school. I even did one of my social work internships at Bronson during my second year of graduate school. I would be a social work student working with patients and families during the day, and then serving salads and sandwiches in the deli at night, all while attending school full-time.
I left Bronson once I graduated with my master’s degree and embraced my career in social work. I worked for a local hospice organization for seven years, but the thought of returning to Bronson to work as a social worker in a hospital setting was never far from my mind. I loved the pace, the camaraderie, the challenge and the fact that every day was different.
Finally, seven years later, I was at a point in my life where I was able to work part-time and took a leap of faith. I quit my full-time job and came back to Bronson as an on-call social worker. I worked on-call for a few years and enjoyed being able to serve all over the hospital. I worked pediatrics, trauma, emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit, mother/baby unit and adult floors. I was able to work with so many wonderful healthcare providers.
During this time, I also received training to become a volunteer member of the hospital’s crisis debriefing team, now known as the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. I finally transitioned into a full-time role on the adult medical unit and extended medical care unit, where I worked for over two years. I also eventually assumed an informal leadership role with the CISM Team and co-lead with another team member.
As I grew in my career, the world and healthcare continued to change around me. Crises and disaster became more widespread. Workplace violence, especially violence against healthcare workers, was being recognized. Societal and psycho-social issues began to creep into the medical setting, often playing a large role in stories of some of our patients. Medical institutions and healthcare workers began to feel the heavy burden of these changes. It became evident that our small CISM team could be serving in a greater capacity.
I had witnessed and personally experienced the aftermath of the traumatic situations that healthcare workers face daily, only to pick up the pieces and return to do it all over again the next day. The work that occurs at Bronson is sacred, it is life changing, and many times lifesaving. The best way to honor this work is to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves and each other, so that we can continue to be our best selves, both professionally and personally. This is why I feel so passionate about my work in CISM. It is vital to provide care for the caregivers!
I’m proud of the growth of the CISM team and of all of the accomplishments that have been made since I started in the new full-time CISM team coordinator position, which was created with the blessing and assistance of our executive leadership team. It is wonderful to know that Bronson is willing to invest in their staff by providing resources that will help create a healthy workplace and showing actionable investment in the key behavior of Be Well. The willingness to devote resources to help our staff heal after difficult events and recognizing the profound work taking place all over the system, not only shows commitment to staff well-being, but it also demonstrates dedication to the health of our patients and community, because after all, when we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others. This is why I’m #BronsonProud!