News / Periop Café

40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: M. Trevor Bennett

December 10, 2019


40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: M. Trevor Bennett

I know it’s time to go home when… When I solicit feedback, then don’t receive it as a gift; its time to go! It’s also time to go when I receive a text that says, “You said you would be home over two hours ago. How much longer now?” oops.

Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s… How prepared you are to work and how big of a chance you are willing to take! While success is not always an option, failure seems to be still staring you in the face; however, don’t forget that when done right, failure will provide the most significant personal and professional opportunity for the growth of your team.

One little thing I pay attention to is… rumors. I start every staff meeting with “Rumors, Facts, and Lies.” I have found that skillfully approaching rumors (sometimes incredible uncomfortable) is a fundamental key to the success of molding a positive culture founded upon accountability. I’ve also learned that when not addressed, rumors soon become the new truth, true or not.

Best advice I ever received… that not all things require you to “fight” for them. Sometimes you can present your idea, ask the team, do what needs to be done, or even walk away. Or, as my mentor would say, “Now is time for big hair Trevor”. My mentors are…my wonderful late father H. Gordon Bennett; Kristi Eash, Director of Surgical Services Kaiser Westside Medical Center; Barry Hawthorne, CNO North Alabama Medical Center; Jeff Sollis, CEO Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center; and James Teixeira, DVP PI HCA Mtn. Div.

I am here for… removing roadblocks. My daily goal is to allow my teams to provide the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective care to our patients and their loved ones. Second I am a trusted agent and will deliver on my promise to execute on key objectives and initiatives for my organization, board, and key stakeholders.

The future of surgical services is… An ever-changing complex matrix, which is why I absolutely love what I do! I think back to how much the landscape has from even ten years ago, and it generates excitement in me to throw back the covers in the morning so I can see what the day brings and what I can accomplish.

The dumbest thing I ever did… In my first role as a Director, I was given a task to reduce the operating budget by 15%. As I dug into each line item, I marked expenses as need, nice, and nuts to have. Once I was complete with the budget, I filtered the document, drew a red line at 15%, and hit submit. One item that didn’t seem to make the cut was the water cooler service in the surgeons and staff lounges.

What I learned is there are a million ways to reduce a budget… as a leader empowered to make decisions, this is not one of them!

The smartest thing I ever did… Was taking a chance on me. I jumped from a very secure and lucrative role as an Air Traffic Controller to pursue my passion for Healthcare. I had no idea if I would be successful or be able to support my family. What I knew is that my happiness was going to be required if I accomplished the above or survive my next 30 working years. Fast-forwarding to today, I can say that I NEVER imagined even one quarter of the opportunities and great mentorship I received, which has led to a niche in leading some of the brightest and most capable individuals in the Nursing profession.

If I hadn’t been a Director of Surgical Services, I would have become a… Well aren’t the possibilities are endless here?!?!?!?! For sure, some of my top choices are hot yoga (Bikram) instructor, sommelier, golf ball diver, Powerball winner, potato farmer, professor at Hogwarts, bingo caller, dog whisperer, moonshiner, memeologist, or maybe like a lawyer, dolphin trainer, or hotdog vendor? Now I feel so pigeonholed.

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