“Working in quality improvement, a main focus of mine is to work with front line clinicians and their managers and use practice development methodology to get teams to work out what their purpose is. In this work, I use a thing called the clock analogy.

One of my pet peeves is to hear a staff member refer to themselves as “I’m just”.

When you place “just” around something, it limits the importance.

My argument to anyone who prefaces their work with “just”…. “I’m just the cleaner”, “I’m just the operations assistant”, “I’m just the nurse”, is, without you, we don’t function. So, you’re not ”just”; you are a nurse, the cleaner, the operations assistant.

Our cleaners and operations assistants are two of the most important people in our unit because without them, we can’t have a functional unit as they help everything stay in motion.

Our patients and consumers see those working in the “clock face” roles; the ones they can see moving the “clock hands”. What they don’t see however is all the cogs that make that clock turn, which sit behind the clock face.

A patient might not necessarily value the technician who supplies the oxygen, but if you take that person out, we can’t function as a department, so unknowingly they are valuing it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the chief executive, the general manager, the cleaner or the person making coffee to keep everyone going. It’s about knowing how important we all truly are and how we work in synergy to make our clock turn.”

– Brian Julien, WSLHD practice development quality improvement coordinator who just celebrated 21 years working for WSLHD

‘Humans of the Hospital’ is dedicated to the inspiring humans working at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt Auburn and Cumberland hospitals in western Sydney.