If you had asked me at 22 where I’d be a year later when I graduated as a dietitian I don’t think any answer would describe myself in a food service director role. Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you like that, you either grab and hold on or wait for the next turn, whenever that may be.
I decided to hold on and embarking on a career in healthcare has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, largely thanks to the tools and the support I was given. Let me back up and say that in no way do I want to downplay the journey. Healthcare and foodservice are arguably two of the toughest industries out there, put them together and you have a force to be reckoned with. Both industries, while full of amazing people are well known for their demanding hours. Put simply, when your orientation includes a segment on maintaining work-life balance you’re grateful for the training but also understand a career in healthcare means you’re in for a wild ride.
When I started in healthcare, the mantra was “sink or swim”, which isn’t exactly the kind of thing you want to hear in your first month on the job. It’s tough to say whether I was ready at the time, but looking back I was far from alone as a new Director. Everyone around me, from my Regional Director to my Executive Chef played a vital role in my development. In the years since I’ve seen a huge culture change at Morrison. Sink or swim has turned into “support for success”, and new managers start Day 1 on a series of courses meant to develop and grow their skills. Many of the anxieties I had when beginning a career in healthcare are now alleviated by surrounding new managers with a safety net of support. Ask me what I’m most proud of working at Morrison and without a doubt I’ll tell you it’s this commitment to invest in the future wave of managers.
So let’s talk tech. As painful as it is to say, I think we can all agree that when it comes to cutting-edge technology, the typical perception about healthcare is that it’s “behind the times”. As someone born in the 90’s (gasp!), experiencing this perception firsthand was perhaps my biggest culture shock in the workplace. While I started my career in healthcare with an internship where we used paper charting, ten months later I ended that same internship with electronic charting. That was just the beginning.
Technology is a force of nature as much as any other and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a company that values exploring such uncharted waters. My managers give me room to experiment with hashtags and cloud storage, and at a corporate level, we’ve adopted services that streamline painstaking tasks like nutritional analysis.
More and more I’m seeing glimpses of the tech giants surrounding me here in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s incredibly exciting.
It’s easy for healthcare companies to excuse the convenience of technology by claiming either security risks or citing past practice. Both of those are of course points to take into account, but we’re not seeing technology advance in just a straight line anymore, it’s exponential growth. If you want to picture what this means, imagine you used to wait a year for a problem to get fixed and now the same problem takes only six months, soon it will only take one month. Eventually, fixes are so quick they happen before you even noticed there was a problem. That’s exponential growth.
Nowadays, making a commitment to modernize isn’t just a one-time thing, but a constant effort for improvement and that’s the kind of commitment I’m proud to see Morrison making. Are we perfect yet? Of course not. Perfect is a moving target, the difference I see is that what used to be a distant mirage is now a physical checkpoint on the road to reinventing healthcare.
I’m one of the first generations that grew up with computers and I’m #ProudToWorkHere.
Joshua Iufer is a Registered Dietitian and the Director of Food and Nutrition at Morrison Healthcare’s Sutter Alta Bates Summit Medical Center: Herrick Campus account in Berkeley, California. Josh has a knack for building computers and loves exploring new uses for technology in the workplace. His background in IT gives him a greater understanding of how technology can integrate with existing systems and he strives to demonstrate the ways technology can improve the patient experience. One day not too far from now, Josh dreams of seeing services like Gmail, Slack and Dropbox being commonplace in foodservice like they are at all other tech giants.
Joshua chose Compass One Healthcare and Morrison because of the opportunities he has to touch the lives of patients and staff. Morrison is a proud part of Compass One Healthcare and Compass Group USA. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, be sure to check out team member or management opportunities to join the Morrison family through Compass Group Careers.