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Shawna Wellnitz

Putting Myself Out There

When meeting a patient for the first time in the Observation and Recovery Unit where she works, Shawna Wellnitz always starts by introducing herself and her role as a health care assistant. In doing so, she is no longer just another staff member, nameless and unfamiliar, going in and out of the room. She becomes a person, with a purpose that she always makes sure to relate to the rest of their care. She says that it is important to "put yourself out there" for patients, just as they must do for you. And for Shawna, introducing herself to patients is the first step toward making their interaction more personal—and more healing.

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