Emergency department director knows communication is key

Nicole Jackson, emergency department director, Delray Medical Center

Jackson portrait"The key to great customer service in the ER is making sure patients feel safe and cared for—to make sure they know we're listening," says Nicole Jackson, director of the emergency department at Delray Medical Center.

Jackson has been on staff at Delray since 2000, serving initially as a floor nurse and then as head of the ER for the past several years. "Working in the ER is challenging but rewarding," she says. "You definitely see teamwork and commitment among the staff."

While the staff's dedication to great patient care doesn't change, healthcare in general continues to evolve, bringing new technology, processes and procedures. One of the biggest changes — and challenges — at Delray has been an increased ER volume.

"We were considered a seasonal hospital," says Jackson, "but we have been literally busy all year long."

In spite of being a busy ER, Jackson notes proudly that the wait time is minimal and the quality remains high.

"We do a great job and we make ourselves known in the community," she says. "We work extensively with the local rescue departments and do a lot of outreach."

Jackson says the most rewarding part of her job is encountering happy, grateful patients.

"I love it when a patient stops to compliment a nurse," she says. "The patient recognizes the nurse is really busy but is still being really caring, making sure the patients know they're OK. When patients recognize that kind of effort, I know we’re doing things right."