Sit Boo-Boo--Sit


Posted on Fri, Jun. 14, 2002

Hospital putting fizz in worker incentive

Coca-Cola helps motivate Houston nurses

By Charlie Lanter

Telegraph Staff Writer

WARNER ROBINS - One employee's idea for motivating workers at the Houston Healthcare Complex has caught the attention of a multinational corporation and may be used at hospitals around the country.

"Cokes for Caring," a program that rewards nurses for great work by giving them free soda refills, was the brainchild of Ginny Bartoldo, chief nurse executive for the complex, which includes the Houston Medical Center and Perry Hospital.

Bartoldo said she was just looking for a way to motivate the facilities' nurses. But when she called Atlanta-based Coca-Cola to buy cups, at least one person at the company was intrigued.

"There's nothing I'm aware of like this from an employee recognition perspective," said Michael Gilliam, a national account executive at Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Gilliam handles Coke's account with the Voluntary Hospitals of America, a nationwide network of more than 2,000 community-owned healthcare organizations that includes the Houston Healthcare Complex and The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

He said if the program is successful, Coca-Cola may help other VHA hospitals set up similar systems. Margaret Cousart, director of clinical improvement for VHA Georgia, also said many hospitals throughout the Southeast are interested in the program.

Here's how it works: If a nurse manager learns a nurse did a good deed, helped without being asked or otherwise went beyond the call of duty, that manager will give them a plastic cup and a card good for 50 free refills of soda.

"It seemed to me it was an opportunity to mesh two really good ideas so we could give (the nurses) a little boost," Bartoldo said. She said the program may later be expanded to include other complex employees.

Coca-Cola provides the cups, emblazoned with the words "Caring is thirsty work," and has designed promotional posters that will hang throughout the Houston complex. Cafeterias at the Houston Medical Center and Perry Hospital provide the beverages.

Bartoldo received one of the cups, intended as promotional material, at a May VHA meeting in Chicago. That cup was the inspiration for the program, she said.

"Ginny and her folks were kind of thinking out of the box and came up with a new use for (the cups)," Gilliam said.


Specializes in Med/Surg, ER, L&D, ICU, OR, Educator.

Will we get a Diet Coke option?

Love the idea of recognizing great nurses with ANYTHING/EVERYTHING! Don't you love RADICAL new thinking?


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

i don't drink what should motivate ME?????? rofl--- shees--- how stupid. like spitting on a forest fire to put it out....trying to satisfy nurses' (and other healtcare providers') intrinsic need to be recognized for work well-done. UGH! thumbs-down.


839 Posts

the product of choice is iffy...but i'd take any recognition, no matter how foolish..for a job well-done...


735 Posts

How about a "Beers for bustin' your Butt"?


OC_An Khe

1,018 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED. Has 40 years experience.

Time to switch to Pepsi


46 Posts

Specializes in Surgery.

I like Russell's idea - "Beers for Bustin' your Butts"


583 Posts

Hmmmmmm...seems to be in the same vein as those cheap, plastic trinkets some places are so fond of giving out around nurse's day.

I say forget all the BS, just give me a decent wage, or not doing that give me an extra hour or two of pay in my check as a reward for doing such a terrific job!

These types of programs to reward us only does one thing. It makes the suits feel good all over because they are doing something for "their" nurses. Oh, it does do one other thing, it makes me want to hurl... puke.gif.

I am so close to telling the people where I work to kiss my bootyshake.gif and go do some agency work. At least if I don't like it I can move on in 13 weeks.



66 Posts

I agree. Go do your agency least you won't have to jump thru political hoops like a staff position would require AND you'll make more money while having TRUE scheduling flexibility!!!

I am so in agreement with this Coke thing. What a kick in the teeth. Have any of the suits thought maybe a raise might be a "nice" reward for hard, good work? These people are unbelievable.:(


266 Posts

Maybe I'm wrong here, but I think this is a 'small step' in the right direction. Some of you are quite critical....why?? I would also like a raise.....but don't you think this is a start? At least 'some type' of praise is going on here. Coke...small plastic me, it's sure better than 'nuttin....don't you think??

Besides, I like Coke and do you realize how much 50 refills are worth?? At our hospital, that's about $35 ....


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

it is WAY TOO LITTLE and way too late if you, ask me. (and ask many others here, judging from the numerous threads i have read on similar subjects). My questions to you, Nanna, and these people offering such silly and quite meaningless overtures would be:

Why not make **REAL**, useful, gestures like improving working conditions, bennies and pay????? like treating nurses as the PROFESSIONALS we are????

So, throw me a bone? (or coke) not enough, sorry. where would all these suits be if there were NO nurses and health care support staff???? They need to think more.

good thing, i like what i do...cause this cheesy gesture is insulting to me...i take satisfaction from what i do--- not what silly things the suits throw my way to placate me. like i said...spitting on a fire to put it out. not very useful....:zzzzz


66 Posts

I agree with you. We had a manager where I used to work who wouldn't let you leave (mandatory overtime) but would give us a card for a free cookie in the hosp. cafeteria for "working so hard & helping out the unit". I too am insulted by this juvenile behavior. The suits think that this will shut us up, & we should be happy. Yeah right. They know what the real problem is....lack of decent pay!!! Do they fix it, though? NO!!!

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