Compassion for others is a cornerstone for the guest services teams across our health system. These team members excel at listening while serving as the first people guests and patients encounter.
Kirt Thibodeaux has a memorable face. He has D.R.E.S.S. Syndrome that causes vitiligo, a condition in which his skin is discolored in patches, and alopecia, which means he has no hair. But the way Kirt approaches his work as a guest services concierge at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, primarily in waiting rooms, is what guests remember most.
Excellent Customer Service
From check-in to check-out, our entire team focuses on providing comfort and support for guests with loved ones in our care.
Being in the same space as families who are waiting during their loved one’s surgery is a duty Kirt takes seriously. He is present in those hard moments when families get bad news as much as the mundane moments when answering directional questions.
Growing up in St. Martinville as a preacher’s kid, Kirt was formed in his Baptist faith. “I’m not a counselor, but I can offer kind words, water and pray with the guest,” he says.
“I genuinely work on being a better person every day, to make my mark and be an example for the department I was hired in and just pay it forward,” Kirt says. “It’s very, very easy to be nice. It doesn’t take rocket science or a whole lot of will.”
Listening and Healing Can Happen While Waiting
Kirt recognizes how much healing can happen by listening. After he checks in guests, they often want to talk for a while. Family members are worried and concerned, so Kirt listens with empathy.
“I just take a few minutes to provide comfort and some light conversation to what they have to say, give them some positive energy they can feed off that will help their day for the few hours they’re with me,” he says. Sometimes that means listening to a patient tell stories about their loved one, which he does not mind.
The healing can work both ways. “It also heals you, too,” Kirt says. “The simple compliment, that I really gave somebody my best and look how it came back.”
A Stranger at a Desk
Being present and attentive enables guests to feel more comfortable talking to Kirt, and they in turn show kindness and sympathy back in the form of words of thanks and other positive feedback.
“I’m just a stranger at a desk, and you confided in me that much,” he says. “You don’t have to thank me for being who I am, but I don’t expect compliments. I come to work just to help these people out, and I want the same kind of compassion given to me.”