Maude was a legend at the local hospital.  She was an RN but she obtained her nursing license through actual hospital experience and training.  This was an option when Maude was coming of age, but all of the other nurses had received nursing degrees from colleges.  What Maude lacked in a college credential, she more than made up for it in her approach to patient care.

Maude had a remarkable ability to getting patients to open up to her.  Nearly every week, Maude found out about a patient’s background that led to an alteration in how the patient was treated.  Patients were often intimidated by the medical staff and were not willing to share their actual medical condition.  They trusted Maude because of the sincerity that came across from the moment they met her.

Maude was a listener.  She had an ability to get patients to be open to her.  She was also a connector to help resolve problems that went beyond a patient’s medical condition.  Over the years, she was able to connect indigent patients with jobs.  She was able to get abused patients into healthy living arrangements, even when those patients would not be forthcoming to those in authority.  She helped unwed mothers with a care system for their babies.

Outside of work, Maude was also a facilitator for difficult situations.  She had an ability to defuse conflicts because of the sincerity she displayed to those involved in the dispute.  This same sincerity gave Maude the ability to support troubled marriages.  She never sought any financial support for any of the work she did outside of her job.  As a result, she was able to help many in the community who did not have the financial means to seek support elsewhere.

When the local hospital was absorbed into a statewide hospital chain, Maude decided to retire.  She realized that her approach to nursing would not be valued by the factory model of medical care that the statewide chain espoused.  Maude chose not to have a retirement reception because she just didn’t feel comfortable with the change in direction the hospital was taking.  As she left the hospital for the last time, she encountered a mass of humanity waiting for her.  These were the people she had supported over the years with her caring approach.

Sincerity is a human trait that is innate.  It involves empathetic listening, reaching out to help, connecting those with needs to those who can help, and a genuineness that is evident to everyone.  As our society has become more credential focused, we have lost interest in human traits such as sincerity.  Instead of creating a culture of genuine caring, we have chosen a public relations approach.  In spite of all of our promotional efforts, there is only one way to support those we are serving:  hire people who have a genuine caring attitude, and that is not something represented on a resume.

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  -John F. Kennedy

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