Atlas on Location: Day One
At DaVita, Team Atlas refers to teammates who support clinical teammates from business offices or remotely. Recognizing that sometimes not being in a clinic day to day can cause a gap in understanding the very teammates—and ultimately patients—we support, the program Atlas on Location was created. Through this program, Atlas teammates have a chance to volunteer in local centers for 4-6 hours per month over a three month time span.
This opportunity was particularly important to me, so I jumped at it right away. You see, my Grandpa was on dialysis for eight years before he passed away. I remember sitting in the lobby and waiting with my Grandma during my Grandpa’s treatments, but I had never actually been on a treatment floor.
Day one of my assignment was very insightful. I spent my morning filing patient paperwork for the week—a task the administrative assistant usually sets aside a half a workday each week to do. (Note: as a Village, we committed to a 2020 paper reduction goal and these processes are currently being analyzed).
Working in the clinic made me reflect on just how challenging the job of our PCTs, nurses, social workers and dieticians can be. They not only treat patients, but they educate them and form bonds with them.
While filing the paperwork, I loved that I could do this from the center of the clinic floor. I have a new appreciation for clinical staff who seem to buzz from patient to patient with endless energy. One gentleman started a conversation with me—you could tell he was the life of the party every time he came in for a treatment. Another patient was upset because she didn’t know when her treatment time was. I was so impressed by the demeanor of a teammate who not only sat with her to explain her treatment times to her, but stayed with her long enough to develop a relationship. They began talking about their families and by the end of the conversation they were both all smiles and laughter.
Our clinical teammates do an immaculate job and the individual patient relationships they develop are crucial for DaVita. I am so glad I had this opportunity and can’t wait to go back and volunteer again next month.
For any Atlas teammates reading this: I would highly encourage this program. Even if you are just sweeping and tidying up the lobby and patient floor, these hours will be invaluable to your understanding of clinical teammates and the patients they serve.