Congratulations on a Successful Magnet Survey Visit
by Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health System
During my high school years, I became an avid fan of basketball. My junior and senior years, we had a really good team, which culminated with an appearance at the Final Four for our state at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall in Champaign, Illinois. Our journey to the championship was a difficult one, but one by one, we beat each of our opponents thanks to the methodical teamwork of the players.
One of the games on our road to victory really stands out in my mind. We were playing in Decatur, Illinois at one of their high schools. The Decatur team was up by one point with 5 seconds to go on the shot clock. If we were going to score, there was only enough time for the guard to turn around and shoot once he got an inbound pass. The ball was thrown in to Tom Langford, who was at the other end of the court, near the other team’s free throw line. Tom caught the ball, turned and heaved it toward the basket. The buzzer sounded just after Tom had released the ball. Unbelievably, the ball went into the basket on the other end of the court, and we were on our way to the regional championship!
The next day, the coach held practice. He wanted Tom to try again to do what he had done the night before. As one of my friends told me, who was a player on the team, Tom could not even come close. The adrenaline from the night before was what had helped him propel the ball all the way across the court into the net; without that rush, he was unable to repeat his performance.
I like quotes about excellence. There is one that says, “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Others say something to the effect that it takes a second to achieve excellence and a lifetime of passion to maintain it, or that it is the result of always striving to do better. Not to say that Tom wasn’t a good player, but his amazing shot that night was a one-time event – pure luck, so to speak. Consistently performing at a high level over and over is what represents excellence.
This week, three appraisers from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® visited UTMB to verify, clarify and amplify our application for reverification of Magnet status. The three days during the appraisers’ evaluation survey were filled with many group interviews and visits to inpatient units and ancillary and support services on the Galveston campus, as well as ambulatory locations across the Health System. I’m happy to say that in every case, we shone brightly. As I heard stories from the appraisers about their visit, I was overcome with pride in our nursing staff and in all of our staff members from across the organization who support nursing care. Each meeting underscored the excellence of the work we do at UTMB on behalf of our patients.
One thing that particularly impressed me was when, on multiple occasions, the appraisers asked our nursing staff what they would want if money were no object. In each case, nurses did not ask for something for themselves; they asked for things that would help their patients. What a remarkable story! The selflessness and compassion of our nurses stood out to the appraisers.
The appraisers also commented on the many times patients, staff and community members mentioned how caring people at UTMB were toward our patients and visitors, and how many times they saw people stop and help a patient or visitor who appeared to be lost or needed help finding their way. They talked about how helpful our nurses were as they strove to assure patients had whatever they needed at that moment, no matter how busy they were. They also talked about the stories of “family” and teamwork that nurses shared with them, describing the special feeling you get the moment you walk in the door at UTMB.
We have clearly achieved excellence in patient care and service because we are performing at a high level over and over again, and the appraisers recognized this. So, on behalf of the entire Health System Leadership Team, I’d like to congratulate every single UTMB nurse and staff member who works so tirelessly on behalf of our patients. Each and every day, you come to work and perform at a consistently high level that demonstrates our excellence.
David Marshall, UTMB’s chief nursing and patient care services officer, and I both agree that it is time to celebrate a successful site visit that has left us feeling a tremendous sense of pride. The appraisers found no deficiencies during the survey, and we’ll find out later this summer the official decision of ANCC regarding our verification. To all who led and participated in the Magnet survey, thank you and congratulations! The excellence at UTMB shines brightly in the communities we serve and throughout Texas! Thank you for making excellence in your work a habit.