Jared Wright's quick thinking and attention to detail during his housekeeping rounds at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) helped save a young father's life.
Jared is a valued member of Unit 5B safety huddles at TGH, offering insights into potential safety hazards, constantly scanning his environment and paying attention to information shared by the team during the huddles.
International Housekeeping Week September 10-16, 2017
"He's an extra set of eyes on our patients," says Danielle Small, Patient Care Coordinator, Units 5A and 5B, Cardiology Inpatient and Cardiac Short-Stay. "He's a great help to us."
Danielle adds that everyone on the unit is expected to attend daily safety huddles and speak up about any safety concerns.
There's no better illustration of that than the day after lunch when Jared came into the room of Herby to say hello, as he often did, and to see how the patient was feeling.
Herby, 38, was born with congenital heart failure, and was waiting for a heart and lung transplant.
But that afternoon, Jared noticed that Herby did not respond when he greeted him, and that he was groaning and trying to reach out with his hand.
When Herby did not respond, Jared realized something was wrong, and called a nurse.
The nurse quickly realized Herby was having a stroke, and a Code was called.
Herby, who has three children aged nine, two and nearly a year, recalls that day, grateful Jared stopped by.
"I couldn't get up. I couldn't move my whole right side. I could not talk," Herby says.
Daily safety huddles with staff on patient units, and subsequently with leaders at each UHN site, are a key aspect of UHN's Caring Safely transformation. They foster a culture of safety where everyone takes personal responsibility for patient and workplace safety every day. All are encouraged to
speak up for safety by reporting errors or events, concerns and good catches to eliminate preventable harm.
While performing his daily duties as a housekeeper, Jared notices if a patient is agitated, or whether families are putting on the appropriate protective equipment to protect patients from germs, or if a patient needs a smile and chat.
"I like to be educated about all the patients we take care of on our unit," Jared says. "I pay attention when I go into patients' rooms. I can get people to talk if they feel lonely, and I watch out for them.
"That makes them feel safe and well cared for."
Herby certainly feels that way. After being treated for a stroke, he was healthy enough to be re-listed for a heart and lung transplant. He received it in June of this year.
"Jared was there at the right moment," Herby says. "I would've had way more damage if he had not come along.
"He saved my life."