Using communication to connect
Whether it was LEAPS (Listen, Empathize, Ask questions, Paraphrase, Summarize) in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years or other programs in health care for the past ten years, John Evans uses communication to connect.
“People want to be heard. Asking questions and involving them in their health care experience demonstrates that you care,” said Evans, manager of radiology services at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.
Caring sums up the heart of who Evans is. In his former role as an CT technologist, he recognized the young age of an upcoming patient. Evans took it upon himself to purchase a handful of anti-microbial toys to hide around the room to ease the patient’s anxiety before and during the procedure.
More recently, a gentleman had been at YVMC for a relative’s surgery and didn’t have a way back to the bus stop. In speaking with the gentleman, Evans not only managed up his surgical colleagues but also gave the man a ride to the bus stop.
“A radiology leader once told me we have the opportunity to, ‘Be the best part of their worst day,’ and that has stuck with me,” said Evans. “It’s an innate part of me to care for people, be empathetic to their situation and see how I can help. Maybe I can have a positive effect even when they’re having a bad day.”
There’s a history of health care in Evans’ family, with his dad serving as a chaplain at a Level 1 trauma center and his brother working as an ophthalmologist.
“I guess you could say it is an Evans’ family calling to take care of people,” he said.
In advancing his career at UCHealth from CT tech to manager of radiology, Evans’ focus is now caring and advocating for his team, along with the occasional patient care shift.
“Moving into a leadership role, the days go by really quickly, which is what makes the role so interesting,” he said. “The beginning of my day may be laid out with meetings, but then if the department gets busy or there’s a staff callout, those meetings get re-scheduled and I jump back to the floor with the team.”
Jumping in is one of the best ways Evans feels he’s able to build trust with his team. It also helps with setting standards.
“I hold my team to high expectations and standards, because our patients deserve that,” he said. “When I’m working alongside my team, I not only hold myself to those same high expectations and standards but want my team to hold me to them, too.”