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Edgardo Lopez, Unit Secretary, Emergency Department, UMass Memorial Medical Center

Listening is integral to good communication. I always listen carefully to ensure I understand what a patient or colleague needs. With active listening comes critical thinking, so I pinpoint keywords and adjectives to figure out what needs to be communicated. I want to ensure I’m sending patients to the right place and giving them the correct information. In the Emergency Department, where time is short, this all happens in a matter of seconds.

I see the Standards of Respect as a guideline, not just for us as employees but as human beings as well. We’ve all been taught about respect since we were children, but sometimes life derails us. The Standards of Respect encourage us to analyze ourselves — 'I’m good at this one, but I need to work on that one.’ They bring us together and reinforce the golden rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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