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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  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees for March! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, everyday. Thank you for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge #employeeofthemonth From top left to bottom right: Tavon Hargis of @carroll_hospital, Ann Taylor of #SinaiHospital, Florence Marchetti of #NorthwestHospital, Paulette Carter of #Levindale

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees for March! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, everyday. Thank you for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge #employeeofthemonth 
From top left to bottom right: Tavon Hargis of @carroll_hospital, Ann Taylor of #SinaiHospital, Florence Marchetti of #NorthwestHospital, Paulette Carter of #Levindale"
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  • #SinaiHospital #telecommunications staff, circa 1981. This old PBX phone system would be replaced with a computerized unit. Happy 150th anniversary to Sinai Hospital! #TBT

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital #telecommunications staff, circa 1981. This old PBX phone system would be replaced with a computerized unit. Happy 150th anniversary to Sinai Hospital! #TBT"
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  • What's happening here? ‪#‎LifeBridgeHealth CEO Neil Meltzer and some LifeBridge Health friends recently recorded some important #health messages for a new partnership with @wbaltv11. Look for more details, coming soon! #lightscameraaction #sneakpeek #maryland

    lifebridgehealth: "What's happening here? ‪#‎LifeBridgeHealth CEO Neil Meltzer and some LifeBridge Health friends recently recorded some important #health messages for a new partnership with @wbaltv11. Look for more details, coming soon! #lightscameraaction #sneakpeek #maryland"
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  • Kelly loves the new “cute" socks in her @givingcomfort kit! A partnership between ‪#‎LifeBridgeHealth and the @mckessoncorporation, the #GivingComfort program provides patients of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute with comfort kits that include items like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines and more.

    lifebridgehealth: "Kelly loves the new “cute" socks in her @givingcomfort kit! A partnership between ‪#‎LifeBridgeHealth and the @mckessoncorporation, the #GivingComfort program provides patients of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute with comfort kits that include items like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines and more."
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  • The Central Sterile Services Department at ‪#‎SinaiHospital, circa 1952, is where the hospital’s medical equipment and devices were sterilized between uses. Happy 150th anniversary to Sinai Hospital! ‪#‎TBT #LifeBridgeHealth #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "The Central Sterile Services Department at ‪#‎SinaiHospital, circa 1952, is where the hospital’s medical equipment and devices were sterilized between uses. Happy 150th anniversary to Sinai  Hospital! ‪#‎TBT #LifeBridgeHealth #Baltimore"
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  • #LifeBridgeHealth's Population Health department is always "cooking up" ways to connect with our communities, including a recent visit the American Heart Association's Test Kitchen. LifeBridge Health is working with the #americanheartassociation to bring healthy cooking sessions to people in our communities. #healthyliving #healthyfood #mealprep #baltimore #AHA

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth's Population Health department is always "cooking up" ways to connect with our communities, including a recent visit the American Heart Association's Test Kitchen. LifeBridge Health is working with the #americanheartassociation to bring healthy cooking sessions to people in our communities. #healthyliving #healthyfood #mealprep #baltimore #AHA"
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  • It was an indoor beach party at the annual reunion of #SinaiHospital’s Jennifer Gandel Kachura Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (#NICU). Hundreds of people came together with NICU #caregivers last weekend to enjoy face painting, leis, food and toys. Above all, they celebrated how much each graduate has grown since last year’s reunion. Thank you to all who participated and to the fantastic #doctors, #nurses and other caregivers who attend to Sinai's littlest #patients day in and day out! #event #reunion #healthcare #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "It was an indoor beach party at the annual reunion of #SinaiHospital’s Jennifer Gandel Kachura Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (#NICU). Hundreds of people came together with NICU #caregivers last weekend to enjoy face painting, leis, food and toys. Above all, they celebrated how much each graduate has grown since last year’s reunion. Thank you to all who participated and to the fantastic #doctors, #nurses and other caregivers who attend to Sinai's littlest #patients day in and day out! #event #reunion #healthcare #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • For this ‪#‎TBT, a photo of Sinai Hospital's nursing staff circa 1907. Happy 150th anniversary to ‪#‎SinaiHospital! Do you have a Sinai story you'd like to share? Email your remembrances, pictures and contact information to sinai150@lifebridgehealth.org. #LifeBridgeHealth #anniversary #healthcare #nurse

    lifebridgehealth: "For this ‪#‎TBT, a photo of Sinai Hospital's nursing staff circa 1907. Happy 150th anniversary to ‪#‎SinaiHospital! Do you have a Sinai story you'd like to share? Email your remembrances, pictures and contact information to sinai150@lifebridgehealth.org. #LifeBridgeHealth #anniversary #healthcare #nurse"
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  • In #Maryland alone, 3,700 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. In honor of #DonateLifeMonth, #LifeBridgeHealth is participating in “Flags Across Maryland,” to promote awareness of organ donations. See our flags raised at Sinai, Northwest, and Carroll hospitals! #donatelife #healthcare #Maryland #thellf

    lifebridgehealth: "In #Maryland alone, 3,700 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. In honor of #DonateLifeMonth, #LifeBridgeHealth is participating in “Flags Across Maryland,” to promote awareness of organ donations. See our flags raised at Sinai, Northwest, and Carroll hospitals! #donatelife #healthcare #Maryland #thellf"
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  • Congratulations to the #NorthwestHospital employees who celebrated milestone anniversaries at the recent Service Awards dinner. Northwest Hospital President Brian White thanked these team members for their hard work and dedication, praising them as the "backbone of the organization." To view more event photos, visit our #Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #ServiceAwards #LifeBridgeHealth #TeamLifeBridge #HealthCare #Maryland #medicalfield #HCP

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #NorthwestHospital employees who celebrated milestone anniversaries at the recent Service Awards dinner. Northwest Hospital President Brian White thanked these team members for their hard work and dedication, praising them as the "backbone of the organization." To view more event photos, visit our #Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #ServiceAwards #LifeBridgeHealth #TeamLifeBridge #HealthCare #Maryland #medicalfield #HCP"
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