The People Team at Alton Memorial Hospital coordinated a second job shadow program on Friday, March 1. A total of 22 employees participated in the event with everyone giving the experience a top rating of 5 – excellent.

The purpose of the program is to give employees an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about the departments with which they interact, and to encourage teamwork and sharing ideas between departments.

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In these times of voice mail and e-mail there is still value in putting a face to the name, said Denise Heil of Registration, who shadowed Cindy Dickinson in Medical Imaging.

“Cindy and I communicate by e-mail all the time, but until today we’d never met,” Heil said. “Shortly after we got together we were able to identify a front desk check-in issue and come up with a solution to the problem. I also learned that the techs can watch the Soarian scheduling portal for a patient’s arrival.”

“When my co-workers learned that Denise would be spending time in our department, several had questions for her,” Dickinson said. “It was good to have this opportunity to get our questions answered.”

Angel Steward, a unit secretary on the Medical Care Unit, hosted Tina Huch from Twin Rivers MRI.

“Tina showed me how to use the document server feature on the copier,” Steward said. “You can retrieve scanned documents and print the pages you need. This is something I didn’t know about that will be a real time saver.”

Lori Moore from MRI also shadowed in MCU. Lori came prepared with a list of inpatient chart codes that will help reduce errors when ordering patient tests. Angel plans to laminate the list and pass it on to the other unit clerks and physicians.

Ashley Bruhn from the Nursing Office shadowed Chris Albert from Respiratory Care.

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“It was great to view the hospital from someone else’s perspective,” Bruhn said. “We went places I didn’t even know existed.”

Sidney Thompson from MCU shadowed Connie Ritter in the Cardiac Cath Lab and was able to see a stent placed.

“It was good to know what cardiac cath needs from us and how we can improve aftercare for our patients,” Thompson said.

Jackie Yarnell, a recovery room nurse in Surgery, hosted Mike Brown from Respiratory Care.

“Sometimes we need a vent or NPPV (non-invasive positive pressure ventilation) and we have to call respiratory to get one,” Yarnell said. “Mike suggested we keep one in PACU – then we’ll always have it whenever we need it.”

“There was a good exchange of information,” said People Team co-chair Nikki Schaefer. “Both the ‘shadowers’ and hosts benefited from the job shadow program.”

Yarnell summed up the experience.

“It’s important to get to know people in other departments,” she said. “When you do, you work better together.”

Kelly Skelton, a nurse in Alton Memorial Hospital’s Wound Care Center, left, and Melissa Crouch, a lab technician, look into a microscope during the March 1 job shadow program. “I wanted to know where my cultures go and understand the steps in the process,” Skelton said.

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