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August 26, 2015

The Value of Mutual Respect

By Career Awareness

clinical-assistantThe Value of Mutual Respect

Clinical Assistant Amber Massaglia's approach to caring for patients brings an unexpected "thanks".


John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic, recently received a letter of thanks from a patient who visited Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus for several chronic medical conditions. "To say I am pleased with Mayo Clinic would be an understatement," she says. "I can honestly say I did not have one negative experience during my visits."The patient then mentioned staff who "went above and beyond," including Amber Massaglia, Anesthesiology/Preoperative Evaluation/Electrocardiogram, who was "especially kind and patient during my multiple visits. Her attitude and demeanor were just wonderful. She patiently answered my questions and was very reassuring prior to my procedure."Massaglia also received a personal thank-you note from the patient. "I don't know what I did that this patient found special," says Massaglia, who prepares patients to see their providers, generates their paperwork and provides a pager as they wait for a nurse to room them. "I try to treat all my patients the way they want to be treated — with mutual respect. The great thing about Mayo is that we're given the freedom to offer that care and support for our patients."After patients see their provider, Massaglia helps them schedule additional appointments and answers any questions. "I was able to answer this patient's questions to her satisfaction," says Massaglia. "I can answer nearly all of our patients' questions to a certain degree without going into too much detail. I'm not qualified to do that."

Massaglia has a straightforward philosophy for helping patients with chronic pain: "I talk to them. I smile at them. I do my best to make them less crabby and annoyed, because they are in a lot of pain. It's scary being here, especially when you're uncomfortable."

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