December 7, 2007

Passion — it keeps on going even when it is uncomfortable.

As I ended the November “Taking You and Your Organization to the Next Level” in Denver, I reviewed with the participants the items we had discussed: increased accountability, standardizing best practices, staff and physician engagement, post-calls, physician preference cards, addressing performance issues, Key Words at Key Times — just to name a few.

I shared that none of these were easy for me at the start. Some still cause anxiety. So, why would one do difficult things that are not easy and are uncomfortable? Because the passion to make health care better fuels us to do things that are not easy. Passion keeps us moving even when it is difficult and uncomfortable.

The week ended with me spending the day with over 100 physicians who practice in Centura Hospitals in Colorado. These physicians took the day away from their practice. I was once again struck with their passion for health care. What keeps a person going with the challenge of medical school, residency, the challenges of working long hours, and, at times, telling patients and their families information they wish that they did not have to share? It’s passion.

At 56 years of age, I continue to be in awe of health care difference makers. Yes, tools, techniques, medications, and training are wonderful and a necessity. But, passion is the constant that keeps our souls alive to continue to serve others.
In the end, I believe that we did not choose health care. Health care chose us.



12 Responses to “Passion”

  1. Quint –

    Exactly!!! Thank you for sharing this key ingredient toward anything that is worth doing–passion. We’ve got to have heart. Crossing the line, a heart is what keeps a person alive and going–the heart or passion in an organization is also going to sustain us–without it, we’re dead.

  2. Rebecca Webb Says:

    Having been a nurse for 24 years I am happy to say I still feel the same passion for nursing that I did when I first started. People often say it takes someone special to be a nurse, but I feel nursing is not a profession, it is a calling . You have to feel the desire to help in your heart or this job can soon become old and your attitude jaded. There are a lot of us out here who feel this way and I hope future generations are “Called” to nursing and don’t just see it as job security.

  3. Judy Cash Says:

    I am blessed at Baylor to see what heart our physicians and staff bring to their work daily. It’s great to see passion “reign” supreme here. It’s not the big stand-out moments that make the greatest impact, but rather the little acts of kindness and caring from our engaged President walking a lost patient to where he needs to be down to our transporter who goes the extra mile to escort a patient to their car rather than the curb that keep that flywheel spinning! Passion has a way of healing both the giver and the “getter”!

  4. Dan McDowell Says:

    You are absolutely correct. It is passion that makes all the difference. I have always said that the best way of getting something done is to find someone with a passion for it and then get out of their way.

  5. Donna Green Says:

    I loved your article on “passion of healthcare workers” All of the doctors and nurses I know are passionate about their work and their patients and it has only gotten increasingly better in part due to the development of our ViaHealth Standards and implementation of (STARS)standards which has been ongoing for the almost two years. Our standards; Service, Teamwork, Attitude, Respect and Safety are enforced and have helped to create a positive atmosphere. As a secretary and ancillary worker in a large hospital, it is a privilege that ancillary staff have had a a voice in increasing our patient satisfaction rates and assume more patient and/or visitor contact. As a consumer, I know how frightening, unimaginably sad or exhilerating a hospital stay or visit can be. I can remember the name of a technician from 1975 who assisted me after I had my first child, her name “Bertha” and the little note of why she made a difference for me is listed in my daughter’s baby book. I see wonderful things when I walk down our hallways and I take pride in our facility as do the folks I work with every day. One person does make a difference in a person’s life in numerous ways; and thankfully we are really getting out there to do that by assisting our physicians and nurses in making our patients as comfortable as they can be. Even if we only walk a visitor from the Parking Garage, to their destination, we have made a first impression of harmonization within our facility. I look forward to your articles and reading your next book. Bless all of those who inspire others to find such joy in going to work everyday for the healing and transformation that is made in not just our patients but in all of our lives.

  6. Jan Weatherspoon Says:

    As usual, I found your posting about passion very encouraging and uplifting. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Hardwiring Excellence in 2004 when the hospital I was working for started the journey towards Excellence.Even with a change in company, I have continued to use the lessons and tools afforded me and continued my quest to make a difference. Question: How do I keep the passion going when the philosophy has not yet been adopted by every department? I have seen my staff and patient satisfaction soar, yet have hit the wall with ancilliary services who do not appear to understand the importance of committing to excellence.

  7. Every health care professional ehibits a strong passion with in to choose a carer in healthcare. It is because of this passion that we chose to make a difference in every life we touch. I am proud to say my employer, Home Nursing Agency exhibits a sense of passion to help others in a very special way. I hope all health care professionals realize what a difference they make to all of their patients through the passionate care that they deliver…thank you.

  8. Gary Hackney Says:

    I am new to the healthcare industry. I just retired from 34 years in public education as an elementary teacher and administrator. I am excited about my new career and see so many correlations to what I did and now what I do. Like you, I am also 56 years old and have found a new level of energy and commitment as I now serve as Education and Training manager of a facility with 1600 employees. The first book I read upon arriving was Hardwiring Excellence. Although I believe I did a very good job of Service Excellence in the public education arena, the message in the book opened my eyes, raised me to a new level of awarenss, and, in many ways, changed my life I have begun the task of incorporating AIDET into the fabric of our environment. I realize that we are actually in the PEOPLE business AND we provide healthcare.

  9. Agree wholeheartedly. Passion is something like attitude: “…it is the one string that we have that we can play on & are in charge of…” in all aspects of our lives; both in & out of our chosen healthcare professions. We cannot be successful for ourselves or for “our others” without it. Without passionate & compassionate team members who place the well being of patients/families above their own for that encounter; I believe that healthcare would wither & die, or be reduced to merely a commodity or a series of perfunctory tasks. Your message is also a great one that I am going to share /c high schoolers who are seeking career choices to fulfill their need to make a difference as they search for truly worth while careers i.e. healthcare career options.

  10. Dee Markson Says:


    I’m a huge believer in passion. It is the fire that fuels us when we’re out of steam. Thanks for the reminder.

    Don’t mean to sound critical, but one thing I’d like to see you change, and that is how you handle the words “health” and “care.” I’m a reporter who writes a lot of health articles. The term “healthcare” is now recognized as a single word, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, you can hyphenate it: health-care.

  11. Hello,
    My passion and service are in the animal health care arena. I have applied as many of Quint’s principles as I can into my small animal hospital. I have found that no matter what you call them, passion and service are integral to not only your success in health care, but also in your personal happiness. Patients are patients, no matter what species, and care givers that are passionate with a service attitude get the most personal success and satisfaction from their jobs.
    Kudos to you, Quint!

  12. Tom July Says:

    Thanks to Rebecca Webb for expressing my sentiments exactly. I’ve been a nurse in the O.R. for 32 years and it was passion to serve that brought me to my career.

    But passion must be supported. It’s so important that everyone is on the same page. Not just the caregiver.

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