Health Professionals at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Ctr.  

Oct. 21: New CNO Rachel Behrendt

Rachel Behrendt  

By Rachel Behrendt
Chief Nursing Officer

I have just finished week five of my journey here at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. What a whirlwind! I have met incredible staff – nurses of every type, doctors, CNAs, transporters, culinary staff, physical therapists, social workers, case managers – the gamut! I have rounded in almost every unit and clinical area in the hospital. While rounding what I have seen has been so impressive. No matter the unit or area the one word that consistently comes to mind when I think about what I am seeing is TEAMWORK.

Such a simple word for such a complex concept … health care teamwork has been defined as, "a dynamic process involving two or more health care professionals with complementary backgrounds and skills, sharing common health goals and exercising concerted physical and mental effort in assessing, planning, or evaluating patient care.” (Xyrichis & Ream, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2008.) 

I think it is more than that. Teamwork is also about identifying the needs of colleagues and putting forth your efforts to help. It means you care about those you are working with, the patients they are caring for, and want to ensure a positive outcome for both. I can hear some people thinking, “I don’t care have a clinical job, I don’t care for patients.”

I don’t believe that’s true. Either directly or indirectly each of us cares for patients. It’s our job working in a hospital. Whether you order the supplies, ensure a clean environment, prepare or serve the food, or perform the most complex of surgeries, each of us has a role to play in the care of our patients. It truly does take a village to care for a patient!

In my first five weeks I have had the honor and privilege of speaking with many of you. I’ve attended several meetings and celebrations that highlight the great work of our staff, from the first Employee of the Month recognition on the ninth-floor Liver and Kidney Transplant Service to the Perinatal Trust Site Visit for the WIS and NICU to hearing the recognition the seven nurse EBP projects earned at the 7th Annual Nurse Research Festival held in Phoenix this September.

Through all of these it has been clear that our strength here at Banner Good Sam is our people. When I had the honor of attending the Good Samaritan School of Nursing Class of 1953 Class Reunion in mid-October I realized teamwork has been a proud tradition at Banner Good Sam for a long time.

These women, celebrating their 60th anniversary of graduating from the Good Sam School of Nursing, told incredible stories! I heard about the teamwork required for the first open heart surgery to be done here, the first neurosurgery, the early forays caring for smaller and smaller infants in our WIS program. These nurses, all in their 80s, talked about the teamwork that got them through their days.

Dividing work and collaborating to be sure all the patients received the proper care. Proper care then looked different than now. They told me it included backrubs and cooking the meals right on the nursing units! One nurse spoke about how, as a nursing student, she was given charge of the behavioral health unit for the night shift. Alone! Incredible, but she had other non-nurse colleagues to help keep her patients safely cared for.

Banner Good Samaritan has a proud history, a long history, one that is filled with firsts for our city and our state. We are embarking on another exciting chapter in our journey – that of becoming an academic medical center. This will bring another first to Phoenix; there has never been an academic medical center in this city!  What this means to each of us will be different. For some it will mean more focus on differentiating ourselves clinically through more focus on achieving certifications and participating in research. For others it may mean new opportunities to contribute as we develop the vision of what an institute or center looks like. For others it may mean new ways of conducting business that includes involving an academic partner. Whatever it means for each of us individually, collectively it means we need teamwork more than ever. For Banner Good Sam to reach its destiny, we will need the collective spirit and voice of every employee. We need to be a team.

I’ve never been more excited to be part of a team than I am to be a part of yours. Thanks for the warm welcome so many of you have shown me in my first few weeks. I can’t wait to meet each of you as we continue on this journey!

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
1111 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 839-2000
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