Friday, September 30, 2011

Undercover Boss

        I was watching the show Undercover Boss last night and it made me a little emotional.  The show has a wonderful concept, the CEO of the company goes undercover and becomes a worker in 2 or 3 different areas of the company to find out how the company is really functioning...and to see how the employees function in their positions.  Last night 3 exceptional employees of the company, 7 eleven, were highlighted and awarded for their excellent service. 
       What struck me about these employees was their true love of the job...they brought their A game every day and they didnt bitch and moan while performing their job.  These people did not have cushy positions with a window overlooking the ocean!!  These people had the menial jobs that make companies run elderly woman who works the coffee machines...She knew every customers name and served them with a smile...a night delivery man, who is an immigrant~  smiling and so happy to have a job that supports his family and an ex military man who works on a dessert assembly line...who was smiling and encouraging to the "new" guy.  All of these people were given this "new" guy to train.  Not one of them bemoaned their job or their employer...they were encouraging to him and didnt make him feel like he was bothering them...
      This brings me to the thought....What would the CEO of my company see if he went undercover in the ER???  The nurses, techs, secretaries, docs and lab techs that work in our ER do an amazing job everyday!! We serve anywhere from 60-120 people and their families in a 24 hour period.  We work 12 hour shifts and sometimes do not get a break.  Our environment is noisy, smelly and oddly lite with bright lights.  At times we work short staffed and sick.  We work with patients that are at times hard to please and critically ill...we see things that most people would never know or believe existed!  We see death. We also get sworn at on a daily basis!  BUT we also have patients that are sweet, caring and thank us for a job well done. 
       What I gleaned from last nights show was this...I know that I go to work and give 100% to my patients and their families...BUT do I always have a good attitude about what Im doing (away from the patients of course)??? NO.  Im going to watch myself this weekend when I work and see just how grateful I am for my job and for the service I provide.  Do I hold pride in being a nurse??? I think Ive lost some of that...Do my co-workers like working with me??? I hope so, I think so...But Im sure I could improve with my attitude....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just a thought.

For the past several months my nurse gals and I have been pondering why we feel that patients and their families seem to disrespect us more now than in the past.  I know that personally when I started nursing....way back in 1991.... that patients and their families seemed to hold the nurses in high regard.  I was never sworn at, spit at or called vulgar names, and unfortunately I cannot say the same now.  As I reflected on this problem I started to wonder if our uniforms had anything to do with hold on, just hear me out.  I know that the times are different, people are angrier, money is tighter, and the expectations are different...we are now in "customer service" not "patient care"...  BUT when I started my career the nurses still wore white~  and dresses with white hose, and white shoes...and yes,  a cap!! 
This leads me to a thought.  Yesterday my husband and I were at my mother in laws for lunch, along with my sister in law and her teenage daughters.  We were discussing soccer and softball at the lunch table and the topic of uniforms came up.  My niece Nathalie was excited because the coach for softball told the girls that they were getting new uniforms and that "they are going to be so sharp looking!"  My mother in law chuckled at this and felt that my niece was holding too much value on the uniform.  I disagreed.  I know that when I see a team come out on the field and they have on really nice uniforms, and they all look the same, I view that team as impressive.  I even may feel they are better equipped to win...for whatever reason I tend to view the team with the nicest uniforms as better.  Now I know this isn't the case...but I do feel that those kids in the sharp uniforms feel good about themselves, they hold their heads higher and they may feel they are superior to the other team with less than impressive uniforms on....does anyone recall the movie "the bad news bears"...wasn't there a uniform story in that movie????
So all of that to say this...When I wore my white uniform I felt pride.  I felt professional and I felt important..When I put on that uniform to go to work, it was like putting my nurse on...getting my nurse groove on... and then off I went. I truly feel that the patients and their families viewed me that way as well.  I think so much of that has been lost since we wear uniforms that every other department in the hospital wears...aka housekeeping, laundry and the kitchen staff.   (not that they are less than us... that is NOT what I'm saying.)   
So what are your thoughts fellow nurses??? and friends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The extreme satisfaction of catching an Inferior MI as it begins

Our ER went from easy flowing to full scale crazy in a half hours time.  Filling the rooms were patients of varying ages, and varying complaints.  Room 8 was not my patient but I noticed her being wheeled in by the tech from the waiting room.  Approx age looked to be mid 40's, she was not in any obvious acute distress but the board said her complaint was chest pain.  Her skin was pink and dry, she looked scared but otherwise normal.  I went about tending to my own patients which ranged from a child with a URI, an elderly woman with confusion and an elderly man with hip pain, post fall.  After a half hour of direct patient care, I came into the nursing station to chart and noticed room 8's monitor.  I wasnt sure what her initial ekg showed but she looked to be having elevation in lead 11 which was up in the nursing station.  Her nurse was busy, so I went in with the ekg machine and grabbed another one....acute inferior MI in all leads!!  Acting from there, our staff worked quickly to get another IV line, give her TNK as well as all the other drugs necessary (heparin etc.) and get her shipped to the cath lab within 40 min.  When I think about my job as an emergency room those stories are the ones that make me so proud to be a nurse in that setting!