Align With Your True North
A kind, compassionate, patient nurse leader who inspired Martha from her very first day.
Martha Leighton’s passion for healthcare started from watching a beloved colleague, Nurse Betty. As a senior in high school, Martha had a job in retail, but when the store closed, she was on the hunt for a new job. Her friend’s father was a doctor – and she luckily was asked to take a role doing filing and much needed office work. This was her first step into healthcare.
Inspiration for a LifetimeEnter Nurse Betty: A kind, compassionate, patient nurse leader who inspired Martha from her very first day. Nurse Betty was the head nurse – and a key leader in the physician office. Over her first few weeks, Martha observed how Nurse Betty’s presence made the patients feel more comfortable and she eased their fears, pain, and anxiety.
“She was constantly dealing with emergencies, upset patients, de-escalating situations, and there was always something to be done. And she also experienced the wonderful things with patients too. She had this innate understanding about what people needed, and that energized me. I loved working with her.”The experience made her want to become a nurse too – and Martha applied to nursing school that year. Martha’s experience with Nurse Betty enhanced her natural growth mindset and has guided her career and leadership journey. She believes the best use of her energy – especially now – is developing those around her, listening to others, and getting to know individual work styles.
Care and CuriosityMartha’s curiosity and true care for others allow her to have authentic conversations, gain information and listen to ideas from the team – to move things forward, together. Her 1:1 meeting includes questions like:
- “What are the pebbles in your shoe?”
- “What can I do for you?”
- “What do you love most about your role and what else do you want to do?”
- “What things do you want me to keep in the back of my mind as I do my job?
A Shared AlignmentLike Nurse Betty, Martha believes that ‘meaningful work’ is when there is a shared alignment with a true north: When the caregiver, patient and provider are joined together for the health and wellbeing of the patient. Martha’s own work aligns with her personal true north – and, as she reflects on 2023, she is aiming to find more opportunities that align her individual team members with what makes their work meaningful.
“I don’t think you can provide good experiences for patients if caregivers are not healthy, aligned, and finding meaning and joy at work. I think meaningful work is whatever I can do to help my patients – and all of the exceptional people I work with who take care of patients. They do the real work. They are the ones who inspire me to do my best work.”