The Human Factor

As a business person in our industry we all live or die by our census report. Every Monday morning we race to see what each building has done census wise. How many move-ins there were, how many move-outs there were and what the net impact was.

The majority of our move-outs come as a result of deaths. It is not uncommon for a company of our size to lose 10 residents in a week due to residents passing away. We are honored to have taken care of these great people in the last months of their lives. We feel profoundly grateful that their families have entrusted us to care for them during this very vulnerable time.

But every week we tend to focus not on the people but on the census. I looked at the net affect of census up or census down and would be glad or sad. I didn’t always look at this as people, but as numbers. That all ended the week after my mom died. The next week I looked at the census sheet from Aegis of Kirkland and saw the census “down 1, cause death.” I came to realize that this drop in census was my mother. It was a person and I needed to be respectful of that loss in a way that was less business like and more humane.

My wife was a RN in a Major Trauma Center. Every night they would lose people to death in some major accident or illness. After a while you try to protect yourself for survival. But in doing this we miss the human aspect of the work we are called to do. I look at the census sheet now, every Monday, with much more reverence than before.

One Comment

  1. Ila Hall
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I found this post very touching. I have been in the health care field for many years and indeed we do need to be reminded that behind each number is a face, a name, a mom or dad, a sister or brother. I have been an employees and a family member just like you.It is hard sometimes to remember the verylives we hold in our hands. I strive each day to make those days pleasant and rewarding for me and the clients under my care

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