Misericordia: Empowering staff to live our mission

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They say our history shapes our future. To understand the vibrant health centre Misericordia is today, one has to look no further than our Founders, the Misericordia Sisters. On December 1, 2008, Misericordia Health Centre celebrates 110 years of fulfilling its mission: to offer accessible, quality health care to those in need in accordance with the Catholic tradition of ethical and spiritual values.

Misericordia Health Centre is continually evolving to meet community needs. We’ve evolved from a home for single mothers to a dynamic health centre providing Manitobans unique out-patient programs, as well as care designed to meet the needs of an aging population. Through all our changes, there is one constant: we remain guided by the values of our Founders.

We want our patients, residents and families to experience the legacy of the Misericordia Sisters while they are with us. We strongly believe it is this faith-based mission that brings additional value to our clinical and service excellence. The question is, in an increasingly secular world, how do we ensure our Mission – what we affectionately call the “Misericordia experience” – remains intact?

Our Board and Senior Management Team recently tackled this question head on as we created three new strategic directions to guide Misericordia Health Centre. Our second direction calls for staff and volunteers to live our legacy, mission and values.

You might ask how one learns to live a mission.

As we believe health care that incorporates Christian values is what sets Misericordia Health Centre apart, we make sure our new staff is oriented to these values. Their ability to provide quality care and make their contribution from this perspective is what makes them a valuable member of the Misericordia Health Centre team.

By emulating the Misericordia Sisters’ values, our staff can truly live our Mission. This year, we created modern definitions of the Misericordia Sisters’ five core values to guide our staff and volunteers:

Compassion – Considering how another is feeling

Being injured, being ill or experiencing a life event such as the death of a loved one can be very frightening. The numerous questions that need to be answered, the overwhelming emotions that can surface and the ways these life changing events can impact those we love can make us feel lonely and helpless. Misericordia Health Centre staff considers it a privilege to be of service during these difficult times. We consider what it might be like for our residents, patients, family and friends. We ask questions so we understand other perspectives and experiences and we do everything we can to find answers.

Mutuality – Everyone has a contribution to make

Each and every person in the Misericordia Family can impact a patient or resident’s experience. From providing healthy meals to keeping rooms clean, from bedside care to establishing a treatment plan, we use our resources to the best of our ability to care for our residents and patients. This includes listening to what they have to say and doing our best to honour their needs, preferences and values.

Non-Violence – Honouring another’s physical, emotional and spiritual space

Misericordia staff is committed to treating everyone with respect and dignity. That means we explain what we’re going to do before we do it. We want our residents and patients to tell us how they are feeling at all times. From talking and listening to touching and treatment, we are committed to treating everyone gently.

Hospitality – Treat others the way you would want to be treated

We want everyone to feel welcome while they’re with us. It is the details that make a person feel welcome because they demonstrate thoughtfulness. Sometimes the simplest thing – being greeted or having a sense of routine – can empower someone when they feel their most powerless.

Companioning – We are not alone

If our patients and residents understand what they’re experiencing and why, it can help empower them. If we understand how our patients and residents are feeling physically and emotionally, we can adjust their health-care plans to meet their specific needs. By sharing important information, we all learn. We also follow the Misericordia Sisters’ value of companioning literally. Not sure how to find your way at Misericordia? We will walk with you to your destination.

Spirituality at work

We try very hard to ensure spirituality is imbued in all we do at Misericordia. And we proudly profile staff and volunteers who live our Mission: even our internal newsletter sports a monthly Mission Moment.

This year, our Spiritual Care team also offered staff and volunteers Spirituality at Work educational sessions to help understand spirituality, learning about other faiths and identify the roots of compassion in the Misericordia Mission. We’ve branded Misericordia Health Centre as The Future of Care. Of course, our future will remain guided by our Founders.