By Drew Hiss on March 07, 2019

The Customer Comes First: A White Coat Ceremony

I had the privilege of attending a “White Coat” ceremony that my daughter participated in during her first semester as a nursing student. Initially, I thought that the ceremony might be middle-schoolish and my rush to judgment sounded like …” is this something we need to drive four hours to attend?”

It turns out I should have done my homework. The White Coat Ceremony was established in 1993 to champion the human connection in healthcare and engage nursing schools and their students, health systems, companies, and clinicians in the joy of humanistic care. Only one hundred and forty nursing schools nationally are recognized under this program whose chief aim is to “keep healthcare human.“

I’m so glad I didn’t let that fleeting thought of staying home affect my actions. My wife and I attended and not only did we get to support our daughter and celebrate her academic success, but we also had an opportunity to witness an encouraging and vitally important facet of the nursing trade.

It was a celebration of the patient. Each student was bestowed with a white coat symbolic of their commitment to serving the patient. Each student pledged an oath of service. Frankly, I didn’t expect a ceremony of this nature, in the midst of academia and all things ivory tower, to exalt the patient (a.k.a. the customer).

Those of us who pursue and engage in entrepreneurial pursuits should consider a similar pledge. Read a few excerpts below from the nursing profession pledge and fill in the blanks that say patient with the words customer/employees.

As a student nurse dedicated to providing the highest quality care and services, I solemnly pledge that I will:

  • Consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concern
  • Act in a compassionate and trustworthy manner in all aspects of my care
  • Promote professional relationships focused on the needs of the patient (client/employee)
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence
  • Promote, advocate for and strive to protect the health safety and rights of the patient (client/employee)

At Acumen, we talk a lot about the “Higher Standard” of impact and influence that our business platforms can have on the lives of other people in our care (clients, employees, etc.). Just like these young aspiring nurses, you have to hone and sharpen your leadership skills and effectiveness and remember who the customer is. It’s essential to always remember who you are truly serving. As the guest speaker at the ceremony noted with strong emphasis, “do what’s right for the patient, not yourself.”

What’s your pledge and white coat reminder?

Published by Drew Hiss March 7, 2019