I’ve lived in South Bend, Indiana for 12 years. Becoming a Notre Dame football fan is not required to live here, but you’re the odd duck if you don’t at least know a little bit about the game when you arrive at church on Sunday morning. That’s how I slowly became a fan. Over the years I’ve gone from Googling the score on Sunday morning, to trying to catch few plays on TV on Saturday afternoon, to full-out watching and cheering.
What sealed my fan-ship was during this season’s first game when I heard a commentator talking about Brian Kelly’s coaching strategy. It is more than just how the game is played on the field but about developing the players into leaders. He meets with key players on and off the field, privately and in small groups. He sends cards and text messages encouraging them along their personal journeys to excellence. Kelly’s leadership style mirrors that of legendary Notre Dame Football Coach Lou Holtz. Coach Holtz said every player wanted to know the answer to these three questions: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Do you care for me?
I believe patients want answers to those same three questions. Nursing is a lot like coaching. Our job is to be there by our patients—teaching, pushing, training, working, encouraging and advocating on their behalf. There is a huge body of research out there that tells us what excellence in health care means. Are we committed to it? Can our patients trust us to truly put evidence-based practice into practice? A culture of consistently committed-to-the-goal nurses is what sets a hospital apart—what differentiates the very good hospitals from the championship hospitals.
Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly led Notre Dame to a 12-0 season this year, earning the team a No. 1 ranking and a spot in the national championship for the first time since 1988. Go Irish!