Cheerful, caring smile keeps spirits high
BY JENNY WHITE
Monday, September 16, 2019
Barbara Edge says she can’t pinpoint exactly why she has such a positive attitude and friendly personality.
Edge, 59, is a member of the environmental services team at Nash UNC Health Care and has a reputation among her coworkers as always being friendly and willing to reach out to patients to make them feel better.
“It’s just the way I am, I guess,” Edge said. “Especially at work, if I go into someone’s room, I want to do something to cheer them up or make them feel better.”
Edge has worked at Nash UNC for 23 years — she started her career in 1996. Today, she works primarily in Nash Day Hospital and in patient rooms, cleaning and tidying wherever she goes.
“When I go into a patient’s room, I usually introduce myself and try to be a friendly face to them,” Edge said. “I have certain things I do in every room to clean it up, but I always take time to ask a patient what else I can do for them.”
She said this could mean getting them ice or a drink, moving a patient’s personal belongings closer to them or finding a nurse to answer a question.
“Sometimes they just want to talk, or maybe just have someone to pat them on the arm and reassure them everything will be alright,” Edge said. “I just feel it — I couldn’t leave a patient that might be in need without trying to help.”
Edge said she really likes the hospital’s “No Passing Zone” culture.
“I think a lot of the things I do for patients are things I would do anyway, but the No Passing Zone means that no matter what your ‘job’ is at Nash UNC, if you come across a patient that needs help — you help them,” she said.
Edge’s supervisor, Joe Brown, said team members look forward to her leadership and how Edge sets an example of how a Nash UNC employee should treat patients.
“Barbara is an asset to the department and to the hospital. Her kind spirit and sense of teamwork is infectious,” Brown said. “She greets all members of the public and our patients with her genuine smile and makes sure they get to where they should be for any test or treatment. There are so many ways that Barbara goes above and beyond each day for the patients of Nash UNC.”
Edge said her favorite part of her job is going in the patient rooms and helping tidy up and get the rooms organized and looking nice.
“I feel better when my house is clean or when things are tidy around me. So, I want to do that to make patients in the hospital rooms feel better,” she said.
Edge said patients are very appreciative of her help in the rooms, many times because they can’t get up and move around and clean up after themselves.
“Almost every patient is so nice and thanks me and most of the time we will get to talking a little,” Edge added. “I like to see them getting better.”
Edge said while she doesn’t know for sure where she gets her positive attitude and cheerful demeanor, she thinks it may come from one habit she keeps every day.
“Every day I pray,” she said. “I talk to God and think about things with Him. I know God is taking care of me, and I think that just makes me a content person.”
She said working with her coworkers at Nash UNC is a good fit for her.
“We all do what we can to help people,” she said. “That’s the goal and we all work together, doing our part.”
“For me, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”