Jessica Woodward handed Don Carlile two $5 gift cards for the Davis Hospital and Medical Center Bistro Café, smiling as she recommended the burger with purple onions and battered fries.
Woodward, the newly appointed concierge at Davis Hospital, gave Carlile the cards as a parting gift while he prepared to leave the hospital following a three-day stay for thyroid surgery.
About Davis Hospital and Medical Center
Opened » 1976.
Staff » Has more than 350 physicians.
Services » Offers emergency care, heart care, advanced surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging, maternity care, women’s services, cancer services.
John Carlile, Don’s son, said the special care provided by Woodward provided a unique experience and filled in the gaps of standard assistance from nurses and doctors. Woodward stopped by Carlile’s room when his son wasn’t visiting.
"He thought that was fantastic that this hospital would have a position like this to go the extra mile and make the patient feel comfortable," John Carlile said.
Woodward, 26, transitioned from working as a secretary to serving in the new position in March, learning the trade from concierges at Hotel Park City. They taught her to anticipate the needs of patients.
"My goal is to exceed their expectations and to help them with any special requests they may have," Woodward said.
She said patient inquiries range from coloring books for children to arranging rides for adults checking out of the hospital, but she said her most popular wish is for just a few minutes of conversation.
"A lot of the patients just want to talk," Woodward said.
Woodward said she gets as much enjoyment from chatting with patients as they do from her assistance. She said recent highlights include speaking with a World War II veteran and a 94-year-old patient who told her the secrets to a long life are a diet Mountain Dew in the morning, a daily piece of dark chocolate and walks on a treadmill.
"It’s just a really fun job, and it’s very fulfilling," Woodward said. "I get to go in and talk to people about good things and about their life. I try to ease the patient’s mind about being here and just show them that I do care."
Diane Townsend, the business development director at the hospital, said the concierge position makes a potentially intimidating and sterile hospital experience personal and welcoming.
"We know we care, but through Jessica, we can show patients that we really care," Townsend said.
Woodward, who is studying at Weber State University to become a nurse, said she benefits from knowing her work as a concierge helps patients heal, but more importantly, gets them home faster.
"I get the most satisfaction when a patient calls me by name and then tells me they appreciate me coming to check in on them," Woodward said. "Every day, I just want to make people feel the best they can while they are in the hospital during this difficult time."
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