Tuesday, January 31, 2017

St. Louis Children's hospital security officer opens heart to foreign parents with sick children privateofficer.com

ST. LOUIS MO Jan 31 2017  - At St. Louis Children's hospital, first impressions last. And the first person people usually see when they come through the door is John Wishom.
"And what I'm going to do is be very positive because that passes on," said Wishom with a smile.
As a security officer, Wishom has spent the last 24 years keeping people safe. But rather than intimidating, he chooses to be charming.
"When you've been here for a long time like we have, it puts a smile on kids faces. He puts smiles on parents faces. It makes a lot of difference," explained Lisa Ricker from Naylor, Mo.
He wants you to feel at home, no matter where you come from.
The hospital might be in St. Louis, but patients now come here from 80 different countries speaking many different languages.
"To give you an idea, last year we had close to 5,000 encounters when we used medical interpreters to communicate with our patients and families," Eva Enoch told 5 On Your Side.
Enoch is the manager of Language Services.
Believing that feeling welcome is the first step to feeling better, Wishom downloaded some programs and on his own time, started learning phrases in a dozen languages.  Everything from Spanish to Romanian.
"That's how I learn," he said. "I constantly listen and I write it down and I constantly say it."
"I think he puts our patients and families at ease to be able to say hello and to be able to ask our patients, 'How are you doing?'," Enoch told us.
Ajsa Sujic is originally from Bosnia. She needed to explain to the doctor that her daughter Elvisa had been having trouble breathing.
"We always have a translator or interpreter, "explains Sujic through a translator.
But some of her stress went away, she said, when Wishom said hello in Bosnian.
"When someone knows your language it's very nice," Sujic said.
"If it makes them feel good, it makes me feel better," laughed Wishom.
At a hospital, there's usually good in 'goodbye'. And for the cures, John gives all the credit to the doctors and nurses. He just tries to do his part.
"We are a team. And when one of us wins, we all win," said Wishom.
One man making an impression by showing that kindness is a language everybody understands.

"He's a one in a million, "says Ricker.

No comments: