New Director Values Cultivating Patient Experiences

No two days are the same in healthcare. Mornings usually resemble routine and predictability: Team huddle at 6:30 am, then start with the day’s procedures. Thousands of hours of training and planning. Whatever’s needed to help prep patients or work in the Operating Room, then emails, calls, etc. until the day’s done. “You can never really plan your day 100%, ‘cause you never know what’s going to come up, who’s going to stop in, who you’ll be working with,” Matt Cooper, Surgical Services Director at Floyd County Medical Center explains.

“We have some very high caliber individuals that work here,” he continues. “We have the ability to perform procedures many can only imagine. We might be a small facility, but it doesn’t mean we can’t provide Big City Service. General, Vascular, ENT, Urology, Podiatry, Orthopedics–we have the equipment, the capability and the education of the people to do it. We provide the same advanced service options as larger metro areas do, but on a personalized level.”

As a seasoned Surgical Services Director, the logistics of prepping each patient for surgery is nothing new. But in his two months since coming onboard Floyd County Medical Center’s surgical staff, Matt has reconnected with what it means to have a patient’s trust in your team. “Compared to other director-level jobs I’ve had, I get to actually interact with patients again. That’s huge. You forget how much you miss spending some time with people and try to touch their lives.”

Matthew Cooper, BSN, RN, CNOR joined the Floyd County Medical Center’s team as Surgical Services Director in January. Surgical Services Department includes Operating Rooms, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Same-Day Surgery, and Central Services. Matt brings extensive experience in surgical leadership to FCMC. His former roles include Clinical Director of Surgical Services at Allen Hospital, Nurse Manager of Surgery and Central Supply at Covenant Medical Center, and Clinical Director of Surgical Services at Spencer Hospital.

“I’ve enjoyed it a lot because of many factors,” he shares. “One is I have very supportive people I report to; Two is I have very kind and supportive people that I work with.”

“In a surgical environment, individuals come to us and they give us their complete trust. We want each patient to have a good experience. The challenges of surgical nursing is keeping each patient interaction a positive experience for everyone.”

Patient-Centered Care is not a new concept to Matt Cooper. He knows that each patient he sees will read the same checklist, repeat a similar pattern of removing their glasses, turning off their hearing aid, storing their dentures. The chill of the surgical gown, the poke of the needle, and the anticipated recovery and future physical therapy. But before any of the healing can begin, surgery patients must be vulnerable as they place their trust in their healthcare team.

Surgical service is all encompassing, it’s like a wheel, Matt explains. “I always tell staff we have a chance to impact a patient along many different “spokes” of the wheel.”

“Starting with the pre-operative phone call when you set up when they come in, what to eat, what not to eat, what medicines to take—That’s your first opportunity to touch their life. Then you have the day of surgery when they arrive, and now it’s the Admissions people who have the opportunity to touch their life. Making sure registration goes well, they’re comfortable etc. Then we greet them into the Pre-Op, Same Day —Another chance to touch their life.

“All of these pieces—from the Surgery Piece, to the Recovery Piece, and Physical Therapy—It’s all continuous. They all need to be in place and functioning well to have a positive impact on that patient so you can provide a great customer service experience. Because yes, it’s patient care, but it’s also customer service. They have choices on where they can go and we want to make sure we provide them with the best service they can get so they come here.”