Monday, March 9, 2015

The Value of a Smile

I was out of town most of last week and had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the nursing and rehabilitation facility where my mother will get her physical therapy after surgery for a hip fracture. She's doing well, and the physical and occupational therapists at this facility seem very good and very congenial.

It's the nursing staff that caught most of my attention, though. I observed a lot, intervened a little, but mostly took mental notes on what I saw.

The staff is overloaded with work....and that needs to be mentioned up front.

But a work overload would not be made heavier by a smile.

During three and a half days of observation and attempts to engage the staff, I cannot remember even one time that a nurse or aide smiled. I was not able to draw a smile from even one patient that I passed in the hall.

Now this is personal opinion, but I'd venture a guess that more smiles would make the smile giver a little less stressed. More smiles might even make the work load seems lighter. Smiles could even make therapy less painful (at least a little) for the patients and lift their spirits.

It works out here in my life, I know.

I also know it's not that way in every facility that takes care of elderly long-term patients and short-term rehabilitation patients.

But doggone it, how do we convince the sad and the sullen that a smile doesn't hurt and it might even help correct a bad situation?

Smiles are priceless.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox and eager to announce this week's guests

Tomorrow my Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers friend, reigning RMFW Writer of the Year, and mystery author Shannon Baker is my guest.

And Thursday I'm featuring my Illinois friend, mystery author Molly MacRae.

I do get to rub elbows with some of the most amazing writers, don't I?

Both authors are giving away a copy of their newest release to a U.S. or Canada resident who leaves a comment on the post. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes they are! It would make everyone's day go better. And doesn't cost a thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I couldn't possibly agree more, Pat. A smile costs nothing, and it makes such an incredible difference.

Jemi Fraser said...

How sad! I can't imagine working in a place without smiles and laughter and joy. I hope your mom's rehab is quick!

Eileen Goudge said...

So glad you raised that subject, Patricia. I was reflecting on it just the other day. A pretty girl who was getting her hair styled by the stylist I use was in the chair while I waited. She didn't once smile or respond to any way to the positive comments from the stylist. When she left, the stylist commented on what pretty hair she had. I agreed and added, "It would be prettier with a smile to go with it." You're so right - a smile costs nothing and can make a huge impact. It was a lesson to me to always remember to smile even when I'm having a crappy day. Not only does it make the people around you feel better, you feel better yourself.

nashvillecats2 said...

A smile goes along way to recovery, also a smile is good for everyone whether busy, ill or just fed up.
More smiles would improve the world in general.

Adam Gaylord said...


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. how sad to experience ... but I'm pleased to read you're a smiler and encourager for others to smile .. we all need to - I quite often catch people's eyes and given them a broad grin - and then get one back ..

Cheers we need smiles ... Hilary