We see kindness manifest in the workplace in many ways amongst employees, volunteers, consumers, patients and their families. We asked you to share moments of kindness you’ve experienced recently and here are a few stories that showcase the kindness we see around Monash Health. This collection of stories supports the Gathering of Kindness: a time to stop and reflect on kindness in the workplace.
Kindness from a colleague
Layle Ward is a Volunteer Coordinator at Dandenong Hospital. Early in July, her home suburb went back into Stage 3 lockdown, along with a number of residential towers. She described it as a “surreal time” and “somewhat shocking and frightening”.
During this time, our Mental Health team were calling and speaking to Monash Health employees in these locked down areas to check in and provide any support they needed.
So the following Monday, Layle received a call from Monash Health’s Mental Health service and spoke to one of the team members.
“His voice was calm and soothing, he spoke to me as if I was the most important person in the world and showed compassion and kindness when I was feeling shock, distress and disbelief. He let me empty my cup and talk through the moments as they were happening in real time in front of my eyes,” says Layle.
“This act of kindness from him and the greater Monash Health team gave me hope and faith that all would be ok in a moment when things were not ok. Thank you to all of Monash Health for the amazing team you are. You have my gratitude for being a part of such a wonderful organisation.”
A beautiful start to the day
Melinda Sutherland, a Care Coordinator in Monash Health’s Integrated Community Health Team shared a small act of kindness from a colleague that had a huge impact:
“A few months ago, a colleague gave me a bunch of flowers in the morning at work. It wasn’t my birthday or any other significant event in my life, but I had been going through a really tough time personally. When I asked her what they were for she said it was ‘just coz’. It made my day!”
Melinda’s thoughtful colleague is a reminder that a small act of kindness can go a long way!
Our volunteers go above and beyond
At Monash Health, we rely every day on our amazing team of volunteers. Zoe Clark, Volunteer Coordinator at Dandenong Hospital, was delightfully surprised on her trip to the Diabetic Clinic to meet long-term volunteer, Vicky. Zoe soon came to witness the kindness Vicky showed patients and how her consideration of her colleagues helped create a welcoming environment in the clinic.
Always conscious of the needs of the whole team, Vicky explained that by staying on top of photocopying during busy times her colleagues have more time to focus on their patients rather than small administrative tasks. She also makes sure that patients who are visiting the clinic are as comfortable as possible, even organising colouring sheets for children in the waiting area. Patients speak of how having someone like Vicky greet them and guide them throughout their time at the Clinic made them feel at ease.
Vicky continually shows compassion and dedication in her role, and goes above and beyond to help others.
Showing kindness to our most vulnerable
In early-September, all the SRS employees were furloughed, and twenty-five clients remained in lockdown. Monash Health Community was asked to step into a Supported Residential Service (SRS).
The clients that reside in this facility are some of our most vulnerable citizens and can present with complex mental and physical health challenges. Our response required a dedicated team to support the residents while in lockdown.
Sara Edwards was selected as the facility contact, stepping in to help coordinate services over the week. We provided her with a direct line to access senior staff in the general medical and mental health teams. The support she was provided by our mental health and medical teams at this time have been described as invaluable, timely and appreciated.
This was an example of how people from different parts of our organisation work together to care for our community. Sara was the recipient of much kindness from the team, and witnessed many acts of kindness around her.
If you attended the ‘Kindness Works Here’ Virtual Schwartz Round, we’d love your feedback.
Thank you to those who joined the ‘Kindness Works Here’ Virtual Schwartz Round at the employee forum on 12 November.
We very much appreciate your attendance and would be grateful if you could complete the short Feedback survey on the link below.
As the themes raised in Schwartz Rounds often evoke strong emotional responses, you may feel the you need to discuss these feelings with one of us or take the opportunity to use the various more formal supports available.
Please feel free to contact any of the following resources for support
- Rosemary McKemmish (Monash Doctors Wellbeing Officer) 0427 409 310
- Monash Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 1300 687 327
- Monash Health “Call a Psychologist” 0418 905 414 (Business Hours)
Approved by Dr Anjali Dhulia