Culture of Caring Extends to Team

Deb Gauthier West Bloomfield OR Team

In her 41 years of being a nurse, Deb Gauthier RN, BSN, CNOR, has learned a thing or two. This OR nurse manager at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital knows the value of an engaged and responsive team. She has this at HFWBH, her post for the past seven years. This has happened, in part she says, because of the culture of caring she practices every day when working with the nursing team.

“I have always considered myself a working manager, meaning I am on the floor and assisting in the OR rooms, or running the board as needed,” she says. “I do this to be present and available for the staff. I also do rounds many times a day on the unit and make myself available to the staff with an open-door policy and phone availability 24/7.”

By making herself available, Gauthier has created a flow of care for patients and for her colleagues. Often she will stay over into the evening shift or come in early to support the night shift, as needed.

“We have many different shifts in the OR to support the staff’s needs outside of work,” Gauthier says. “I have been blessed with a staff who can flex their time to support the units and patients’ needs all days and hours of the week.”

Still, Gauthier and her management team recognize the importance of the +1 of the AIDET +1 model – care for self.

“The +1 is where we believe that one must take care of themselves first in order to give back to the fullest of their ability,” says PattiAnn VanTreese, Director of Surgical Services and Anesthesia at HFWBH. “Staff need to know they are heard and cared for in order to have what it takes to give back, time after time. Nurses are our unsung heroes. We must believe in them and support them daily.”

This belief is exhibited by all nurses being encouraged to lead a well-rounded life. For Gauthier, that means spending time with her family, namely her mother, husband, children and five grandchildren.

“They are center stage when I am off work,” she says. “I have had times in my career that were a struggle so am thankful to be at HFWBH with the administrative team and especially the staff within Surgical Services. We work as one to provide the patients with a good experience from PAT calls, Pre-op, Anesthesia, Surgery, Post-op and Discharge.”

Gauthier and her team at HFWBH are shining examples of putting the Culture of Caring to work not just with the patient population but with all nurses as well. The +1 focus is extended for Gauthier into her time away from work, where she takes care of herself through “exercise, meditation and reading scripture,” she adds. “My faith allows me to look at each day as a new beginning with a positive outlook.”