Omar Kane’s daily duties include cleaning rooms, delivering meals and checking in on patients. He’s not a clinician but considers one of his responsibilities to be ‘just like family,’ especially for so many now hospitalized while pandemic precautions mean no visits from family or friends. This diligence and empathy are two reasons why Kane is the latest “Works of Heart” program honoree.
“I fell in love”
Kane didn’t realize his calling until he learned about the healthcare field from one of his roommates. “He always used to tell me stories about his work, and I liked it. I fell in love,” remembers Kane. “I told myself one day I’ll definitely work in this field, and now I’m at Albany Medical Center and it’s a beautiful thing.”
The role isn’t glamorous. Many could imagine environmental services as hard work in a thankless job. For those in this essential role, it is an important reminder that everyone in a hospital plays a vital part of the patient experience.
“You could be in the middle of one of the hardest shifts until you change one person’s life for the day,” says Brooke Farbotko, patient support associate manager, Albany Medical Center. “We try to explain to the team that no patient happens to decide ‘I’m going to go spend a couple of weeks in the hospital.’
While they can’t control what test results the doctor comes in with, we can sit with them, have a conversation and make sure they get the food they want. Little things can make the difference and we want every patient to know we care.”
Farbotko says Kane is a natural leader who knows how to rally his team to do what’s right for each other, the organization and above all, the patient. In fact, a patient’s mother nominated him for making her son feel like the most important person in the hospital.
“I’m originally from West Africa and never experienced anything like healthcare in America,” says Kane. “Patients have shared incredible stories with me because it’s my job to listen and care. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help them however I can.”
Know a deserving healthcare worker? Nominate them for the “Works of Heart” program.