Everyone has a Backstory

Jason Vigneau HFMG cropped

“Getting down on someone’s level” is an oft-repeated cliché to describe how to connect or communicate with a group or individual. Medical Assistant Jason Vigneau, part of the Henry Ford Medical Group, takes this suggestion literally.

Vigneau works in the family medicine office of Jennifer Burgess, D.O. in Commerce. To succeed in his work, he makes it a regular practice to see eye-to-eye with his favorite patients. They also happen to be the newest to the realm of physicians and medicine.

“Dr. Burgess specializes in pediatrics,” Vigneau explains. “I love working with children. The trick for me is getting down to their level, bending down to talk to them. Still, I talk to them like a whole person, not someone who doesn’t understand. As long as you can make them feel comfortable and trust you, they can understand and be calm.”

Still, there are times when this approach falls just a tad short and Vigneau has to pull out all the stops.

“For the real little ones, I’m very good at singing just like (Sesame Street’s) Elmo,” he says. It’s that effort of trying to connect that makes Vigneau an exceptional medical assistant, and one who is an example for other to emulate.

“Jason Vigneau has been a shining star for Commerce,” says Dr. Burgess. “We have been short staffed for over three months and he has sacrificed his lunches and many hours to step up and fill the void. He has done all of this with a smile still on his face.”

For Vigneau it’s all part of the learning experience, trying new ways to connect and win over even the most fearful patients. Acknowledging the Backstory, the “A” portion of the AIDET +1 model, has been a key for him. He investigates even the tiniest of patient’s backstory, which has proven to be very helpful to both him and the pediatric patients. 

“The Culture of Caring makes a lot of sense,” he says. “A lot of these things I didn’t really think of before, but it’s very helpful. For instance, it’s important to relate to them on different levels, not just as a patient. And this helps me do a better job.

“I feel good about myself every night when I go home. Dr. Burgess is always willing to teach as we go along. Every day I feel like I’ve learned something. I work with a great group of people. We’re like a big family. It’s not even like coming to work.”

That enriching experience is fueling Vigneau’s desire to grow his career, and he has plans to pursue becoming a Registered Nurse when the timing is right. Until then, he continues to do outstanding work and make patients smile.

"The medical assistants are a huge part of our care team,” says Henry Ford Medical Group CNO Linda Harden. “We could not do all we do without them and the excellent care they deliver every day to our patients."

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