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Why I criss-crossed the corridors of the JGH at night

When I play an active role in the affairs of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, it often involves, among other things, conferring with Ministry officials, meeting with the senior directors of our network, or examining the budgetary needs of our various facilities.

However, experience has taught me how essential it sometimes can be to bid a brief good-bye to offices and meeting rooms, and instead, to actually get out there and see the way care is delivered.

That’s why, not long ago, I spent several overnight shifts—and quite a few daylight hours—strolling through various departments of the Jewish General Hospital. For nearly a full week—from a Sunday evening to the following Friday morning—I criss-crossed the hospital, with no particular route or destination in mind. While I tended to circle back to the Emergency Department, I generally followed instinct and whim, with my trusty notepad in hand.

My tour confirmed, yet again, the importance of staying connected by witnessing the extent to which members of staff regularly go—sometimes through nothing more than an unobtrusive act of courtesy and respect—on behalf of those in their care.

My ongoing goal is to staying abreast of the needs of healthcare users—and that means relying not just on statistics analyses or managerial reports, but on being present to experience the mood in a treatment area, the urgency in a nurse’s voice or the look in a patient’s eyes.


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