Patient and family centered care: Noreen Myrics offers daily dose

Patient Services worker lives out key Frankel CVC philosophy


“I often try to put myself in others’ shoes: What if my family was going through the experience?”

Noreen Myricks has been with the University of Michigan for 27 years. Most recently she has worked as Patient Services Assistant Associate at the Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center., where she demonstrates the organization’s Patient and Family Centered Care philosophy through her work with families whose loved ones are undergoing procedures at the CVC. Noreen’s remarkable way of interacting with people inspired this interview.

7 Questions with Noreen Myricks

Q. How were you selected as Patient Services Assistant Associate at the CVC?

A. I had been working at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital when this position became available. I applied and, to my surprise, I was offered the job.

Q. What are your responsibilities in this role?

A. I update families about their loved ones who are undergoing procedures or surgeries. I take the family to the prep area prior to surgery to see their loved one, and fill them in on any surgery details they may ask about, for example, how long the surgery might last. I keep them updated throughout the procedure and take them to the recovery room when the patient is ready for visitors.

Q. What prepared you for the work you do?

A. I have a great deal of compassion for people. I often try to put myself in their shoes: What if my family was going through the experience? Each day, I make sure the patient’s family is taken care of and knows that they have my respect. That’s my responsibility.

Q. How do you interact with different personalities during stressful situations?

A. I understand that many people are upset or have issues relating to their loved one’s surgery. They may act in a standoffish kind of way, but I still need to be respectful of them and show love. Often, I see people getting softer after I let them know that I care about them and respect them.

Overall, I find that many people don’t even say hello anymore. I make a point to say “good morning” or “how are you?” or “how can I help you?” It’s something so small that makes a big difference.

Q. How would you describe working at the CVC?

A. It’s all about teamwork. Everyone involved — from me and the clerical associates to the charge nurses and the doctors — works together as one team.

Q. What makes your job enjoyable?

A. Some of my more memorable experiences are when the families hug me or want to take my picture. And, I get to meet people from all over the world.

Q. You’re very happy and upbeat — can you share what keeps you this way?

A. I wake up in the morning and thank God for another day. I’m in good health and I am at peace in my life. I see so many people with disease and in ill health and I am grateful for my life.

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.