We met the healthcare professionals from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor one day in January. While people who work in medical settings are often accustomed to high-stress, emergency situations, this group was organized during the most recent Ebola outbreak. When called into service as a group, their roles included helping each other suit up and decontaminate prior and after caring for patients with infectious illnesses. They sought to take their teamwork skills to the highest level, and get comfortable working together, so they’d be ready in a crisis.
Helping Children in Ann Arbor, MI
People really enjoyed the Rescue Buddies™ program. The mission complemented the sensibilities of the medical professionals. Their life’s work is helping people, and the Rescue Buddies™ would go directly to helping children. The workshop was held on-site at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. The program organizer made these arrangements to make it more convenient for folks to schedule their participation. The 35 attendees were assigned teams, and we had seven teams of five.
Building Essential Skills
The activities and games we challenged the teams to were fun and engaging, and also gave people an opportunity to flex interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, and communication among varied personality types – essential to situations where trust is critical. It was hard to believe that most folks in the room had never met before! Everyone was outgoing and engaging, cheering each other on and actively seeking solutions to problems. From obstacles to Rescue Buddies™ assembly, this was by far one of the most amazing groups we’ve ever worked with. There was no hierarchy among the doctors, nurses, environmental scientists, and lab techs; this was truly a unified team.
A Dedication to the Community
In a slight change from our typical Rescue Buddies™ program, the stuffed animals that the St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor team created stayed on-site. Rescue Buddies™ are typically given to children in crisis or emergency situations by first responders. In this case, the items would stay here at the hospital to comfort children who arrived for urgent care needs. At the end of the afternoon, when everyone had a chance to step back and see just how much the accomplished as a group, it was a pretty emotional moment. Everyone knew what kind of emergencies might bring a child to the hospital, and their compassion was nearly palpable. We snapped several team photos, and a couple of group photos, with the Rescue Buddies™ spread before them.