Leading with Love

By Molly Minnis || Molly Minnis is a senior Gregorian Fellow at Benedictine College. We asked her to tell us about her summer internship.

This summer I recognized how impactful the Gregorian Fellows at Benedictine College has been for me.

Every interaction, every time” is one of the mottos of care for the Atchison Hospital where I served as a Patient Care Technician for the summer.

I was fortunate enough to intern in my hometown at the local hospital’s emergency department where I practiced my nursing skills like taking vital signs, caring for simple needs of patients and families, promoting comfort, restocking, and so on. More importantly, I was able to observe the nurses and providers and experience what a true 12-hour shift is like. The emergency department is the perfect place to familiarize oneself with the fast-paced workplace of a hospital.

I set a weekly goal, a skill I learned in one of our Gregorian Fellows competency classes. These goals would range from patient interactions, like formally introducing myself to each patient, to more coworker-centered tasks, like getting in the habit of asking, “What can I do for you?”

My learning experience was three-fold. First, I soon recognized the different ways a patient and a healthcare worker view a hospital. A nurse can make a big mistake by forgetting to see the hospital setting, especially the emergency department, as a place of psychological stress for a patient rather than as an employer. This taught me to offer compassion, and to make sure the patient and his/her family was well-informed and comfortable.

Second, just like the motto above suggests, I learned that consistency in all things for all patients is vital. No matter the background, the attitude, or the status of the patient, each one is to be treated to the best of my ability as a nurse, provider or technician.

Lastly, I learned a great deal about servant leadership.

I was able to speak with Anne Healy, who is the
Medical-Surgical/ICU/ Emergency Department Director. She said that a strong value to incorporate as a leader is integrity. Anne showed me that servant leadership means never taking advantage of one’s position. That way, when a difficult favor is asked, employees will answer with respect rather than criticism. Anne is famous for saying that, in interacting with patients, one needs to “care about ‘What matters to them’ as much as ‘What is the matter with them.’”

The Gregorian Fellows program helped be to recognize great work when I saw it. I saw the nurses go above and beyond in even the littlest of tasks countless times. There is not a better way to learn how to serve than by admiring and learning from the way others serve.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the women and men that I would like to emulate.

These nurses and providers are examples of what St. Gregory the Great meant when he said, “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”

The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.