Workplace Etiquette at LifeBridge Health

If you’ve ever watched "The Office" (British or American version) or the movie "Office Space," you learn a lot about workplace politeness. From the people who leave their lunch in the refrigerator until it becomes a science experiment to the folks whose phone conversations might as well be conducted on a bullhorn, the workplace is full of epic fails in the etiquette department.

Whether we work in a cubicle farm, an office or an isolated bunker in Storage Room B, we have to interact with others.  LifeBridge Health consists of a variety of work ecosystems, from conventional offices to nurses' stations to an entire fitness center. Each environment is as unique as the folks who inhabit it; however, following the Golden Rule will keep you golden in the eyes of your co-workers.

For Levindale social workers Shmuel Cotton, LCSW-C, and Felisa Cooper, LSWA, maintaining a harmonious work space is as much about what they don’t say as what they do.

“We both try to notice body language,” says Shmuel. “I can normally tell how Felisa is feeling just by paying attention to her expression when she comes into the office.”

Shmuel and Felisa have shared an office for the past two years. In that time, they’ve established their own unwritten rules.

“We respect each others' boundaries,” adds Felisa. “Since we often have very little privacy, we try to always be respectful of the other person.”

Since both of them regularly use the phone while working, keeping their voices low is a matter of both courtesy and necessity. Whenever possible, Shmuel or Felisa will excuse themselves from the office so the other can enjoy privacy during his or her call.

Though Lauren Lynch and her 10 colleagues in the Human Resources department at Sinai Hospital aren't crammed into the same office, they do share a refrigerator, microwave and copier. “We're pretty light on rules in our department,” Lauren says. “We do have one rule though," she adds with a sly smile. "If something has been in the refrigerator for more than two weeks, it will be removed.”

Surprisingly, Lauren says that the biggest challenge for her work area isn’t a messy microwave or funky-smelling fridge. It’s the allocation of common filing cabinet space. So they developed quarterly schedules in anticipation of how much space each person will need. Still, the entire department meets about once a month to check in with each other about general office housekeeping items.

With a little creativity and a lot of common sense, maintaining a two or even 10-person office doesn't have to be a hassle. However, as the number of employees expands, so do the challenges. LifeBridge Health & Fitness houses roughly 140 employees and more than 4,000 members.

"The atmosphere is unlike most workplaces in that we represent a true melting pot. We have a vast number of staff and members representing a spectrum of ages, creeds and ethnicities all interacting within one communal space,”  acknowledges Jarred Fajerski, executive director of LifeBridge Health & Fitness.

This breadth of perspective proves the old saying true: You can't please all of the people all of the time. Jarred says that communication and a team-oriented approach will help you scale most hurdles. His advice is worth following no matter where you clock in. It's especially prudent in a medical setting, where patients, nurses, social workers and other staff interact in a 24/7 workplace.

“Whether we're in our office or on the floor with patients, communication is the difference maker,” concurs Shmuel. Taking the time to check in with your co-workers, and, above all else, doing unto others as you would want done unto you will make your workplace feel like a home away from home.

-Noel Lloyd

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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  • Lights, camera, action! Check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from our TV commercial shoot with Cal Ripken and Dr. Kevin Crutchfield and Craig Bennett from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Medicine Institute. We'll show you the commercial next week.

    lifebridgehealth: "Lights, camera, action! Check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from our TV commercial shoot with Cal Ripken and Dr. Kevin Crutchfield and Craig Bennett from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Medicine Institute. We'll show you the commercial next week."
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  • As part of national #EMSweek (May 20-26), #LifeBridgeHealth is proud to recognize and thank our many wonderful partners who work in Emergency Medical Services. We held celebration events across our system, including breakfasts at #SinaiHospital and #NorthwestHospital.

    lifebridgehealth: "As part of national #EMSweek (May 20-26), #LifeBridgeHealth is proud to recognize and thank our many wonderful partners who work in Emergency Medical Services. We held celebration events across our system, including breakfasts at #SinaiHospital and #NorthwestHospital."
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  • The pictures are in from #SinaiHospital's annual employee picnic where hospital managers take a turn serving the food, handing out plates and greeting guests. The annual event is a way to say "thank you" to our employees for the amazing work that they do! They are the reason #LifeBridgeHealth is a great place to work! #Work #employees

    lifebridgehealth: "The pictures are in from #SinaiHospital's annual employee picnic where hospital managers take a turn serving the food, handing out plates and greeting guests. The annual event is a way to say "thank you" to our employees for the amazing work that they do! They are the reason #LifeBridgeHealth is a great place to work!  #Work #employees"
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  • Big congratulations to this month’s #LifeBridgeHealth Superstars - #SinaiHospital's Denise Rouse-Meekins, #NorthwestHospital's Cindy Slocum, #Levindale’s Colleen Russo, and @carroll_hospital’s Hospital's Lisa Henson. #congrats

    lifebridgehealth: "Big congratulations to this month’s #LifeBridgeHealth Superstars - #SinaiHospital's Denise Rouse-Meekins, #NorthwestHospital's Cindy Slocum, #Levindale’s Colleen Russo, and @carroll_hospital’s Hospital's Lisa Henson. #congrats"
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  • Some teams at #SinaiHospital swapped scrubs for uniforms as the "O.R. Blades" took on the "Radiology Renegades" in a recent charity basketball game. The Renegades defended their title and toppled the Blades 75-45. The game raised $1,300 to benefit the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. Thanks to everyone who played, served as referees and came out to support the teams for this great cause! #Community #Team

    lifebridgehealth: "Some teams at #SinaiHospital swapped scrubs for uniforms as the "O.R. Blades" took on the "Radiology Renegades" in a recent charity basketball game. The Renegades defended their title and toppled the Blades 75-45. The game raised $1,300 to benefit the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. Thanks to everyone who played, served as referees and came out to support the teams for this great cause! #Community #Team"
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  • We just got some pictures from Nurses Week! Take a look at just a few of the #NursesWeek events as we celebrated and thanked our amazing #LifeBridgeHealth nurses! #nurse #nursesweek2018

    lifebridgehealth: "We just got some pictures from Nurses Week! Take a look at just a few of the #NursesWeek events as we celebrated and thanked our amazing #LifeBridgeHealth nurses! #nurse #nursesweek2018"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth goes green! Thanks to everyone who came out for our recent Earth Day events. More than 2,100 pounds of paper was collected at both the Sinai/Levindale and #NorthwestHospital sites. The next LifeBridge Health Shred-It Day is in November. #earthday #earthday2018"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Dogs may be man’s best friend, but thanks to the incredible generosity of the Adam Michael Kodeck Fund, a dog named Buddy and his handler Gigi will become best friends with families at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai. Buddy is the first dog in the pediatric pet therapy program.  The fund was established in Adam Kodeck’s memory to help children and their families going through difficult illnesses. #doglovers #dog #mansbestfriend"
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  • Members of the #LifeBridgeHealth Leadership Academy recently installed more than 35 smoke detectors in homes as part of the American Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” initiative, a campaign to end house fires. The teams also tested smoke detectors and provided fire safety education, including evacuation plans, to families along the Liberty Road/Northern Parkway corridor. #EndHomeFires #community @americanredcross

    lifebridgehealth: "Members of the #LifeBridgeHealth Leadership Academy recently installed more than 35 smoke detectors in homes as part of the American Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” initiative, a campaign to end house fires. The teams also tested smoke detectors and provided fire safety education, including evacuation plans, to families along the Liberty Road/Northern Parkway corridor. #EndHomeFires #community @americanredcross"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Medicine Institute hit a home run with the recent Wine and Cheese: Brains and Knees event.  Dr. Crutchfield and Dr. Bennett talked about concussions, ACL tears, and staying safe on and off the field. Check out some pictures from the event. #SportsMedicine #Sports"
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