Esprit de Corps is Just a Fancy Word for Teamwork

Esprit de corps is a French phrase meaning “a feeling of pride and mutual loyalty shared by the members of a group.” The concept is relevant to the experience of serving as an Americorps member for a number of reasons. Taking pride in what you do is essential not only to doing it well, but also to achieving feelings of satisfaction and happiness with your work. But it's impossible to do it alone. For the next many months, we will all be exerting forty hours a week of our lives to serving individuals at our host sites, learning as much as we can on and off the job, and growing together as a corps.

One of the things that drew me specifically to National Health Corps Chicago was reading blog posts like this and seeing how members had a real support system in the form of the other members. Although we’ve only been serving now for seven weeks, we communicate with each other constantly, sharing trainings we find interesting, asking for advice, planning logistics - like how many people can carpool to an event together - and even just getting together to hang out after service. This communication and collaboration helps us to get the job done better because we are able to learn from each other, talk out difficult situations, and share resources.

Not only are we learning more about how to be good health educators, patient navigators, and outreach coordinators this year, we are also learning how to be a part of a team. And if there’s one lesson I’ve learned so far serving in a busy emergency room on the South Side, it’s that without teamwork, you’ve got nothing.

This blog post was written by NHC Chicago 2018-19 member Maria Clark.

Maria is a Patient Navigator at Advocate Trinity Hospital.