One of my very favorite events at the Cleveland Clinic is the annual “Red Coat for A Day.” It is an opportunity for any Cleveland Clinic caregiver to volunteer for this essential role for a few hours and experience the rewarding service they provide as they meet, greet and assist patients, visitors and fellow caregivers.
In addition to experiencing their important and gratifying work, it also gives them a chance to collectively gather for fellowship; caregivers who are willing to take on their jobs for a few hours allow the many Red Coats stationed throughout our campus to be away from their posts all at once and socialize.
Red Coats got their names because of their recognizable attire. They wear red blazers and are stationed at high traffic areas so that they can be easily identified. The description of a Red Coat’s responsibilities include “greeting with a warm smile and a helping hand” as you offer directions or an escort to a destination. The description also states that Red Coats are professional customer service specialists who provide attention, empathy, compassion, respect, support, and knowledge. From this description, I think you can get a sense of why I love this event so much and participated again this year when it occurred on December 11, 2019. If you’re in a non-clinical role like me, it is immensely fulfilling to interact immediately with patients, families, and visitors immediately as they enter a building. The ability to ease anxiety, provide vital information or assist in escorting by employing the behaviors of Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. is a thrill. You can see from the smiles on our faces in the photo we’re having a great time! There’s a momentary sadness when we have to turn in our jackets at the end of our volunteering – I’ve spent an afternoon making meaningful connections!
Submitted by Maureen Duffy, Project Manager / Office of Patient Experience, the Cleveland Clinic