In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

September 15, 2023

Meet My Team: Learn what it’s like to be behind the wheels as a transporter

By In the Loop
Matthew Mueller, Shirley Hamm, Lesa Ihrke, Janet Wobschall and Thomas Krueger.

You probably know Mayo's transporters are responsible for helping patients get to appointments and procedures. But do you know what makes their jobs rewarding, how many miles they cover in a day, and what they'd be called if they were a band?

Mayo Clinic is a team of teams — many, many teams. So many that it's impossible to know what each of them does. This column will put that question to teams throughout Mayo, giving them a chance to share how they contribute to patient care and support colleagues throughout the organization. If there's a team you'd like to know about or whose work you'd like to see highlighted, drop the News Center team a note, and we’ll see what we can do.

Lesa Ihrke has been a transporter for 19 years, logging thousands of miles through the hallways of Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

"I enjoy my job and look forward to seeing my co-workers each day," Ihrke says. "I appreciate the friendships I have made with them over the years."

The News Center team asked Ihrke to answer questions about her job and her colleagues turned friends.

Tell us about your team. What is it your team does?

Our Transport team is a fun group of people that loves to hang out together. We jump at the chance to have a good potluck. It is a good thing we burn a lot of calories during the day.

How do you spend most of your day?

We spend our whole day walking and talking with patients.

What might surprise people about the work your team does?

It surprises most people that we walk an average of 10 miles per day.

Everyone at Mayo contributes to caring for patients. How does your team do that?

We transport patients to and from their appointments throughout the campus. A patient recently told me that their two favorite things about coming to Mayo Clinic are valet parking and us transporters. They said we take the stress out of their day.

You're going to hire a new team member. Describe your ideal candidate.

Someone who is kind, compassionate, patient, a good listener and physically fit.

What is a recent team success that you're proud of?

A team success we had recently was being recognized by another department through the "Tag You're It!" game.

I also feel like we are recognized every day by our patients. They truly appreciate us, and that is what makes this job so rewarding.

If your team was a band, what would it be called?

The Pushers.

If you had to describe your team’s work in six words, what would your six-word story be?

We provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment for our patients. Sorry! That's more than six words. (We'll let it slide, if pushed.)


Tags: Staff Stories

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