Saturday, July 18, 2015

Every day has a lesson if we're paying attention

I have been making so many notes for blogs that I just haven't had the time to post -- because we are living every minute and enjoying life.

But, I had to post this.

Because this has been such an "aha" moment.

The culture in the ER where I'm working right now is such a great experience.  I am learning new and better ways to deal with problem patients and just generally how to better  keep my cool when something frustrating happens.

They have a saying, "Heart, head, heart" that is meant to remind us that we need to not forget to think of our patients, their families and our coworkers as people with feelings.  It sounds hokey, and there is no shortage of humor about it, ("Is that to tell us where to land the blows?" was the response one day when a nurse reminded a tech not to let themselves be frustrated by a problem family member) but, the staff is actually held to a very high standard of caring and compassion.  For everybody.

They also hold THEMSELVES to a very high standard of medical care.

I am no longer seen as some sort of freak for undressing all my patients.  EVERYBODY undresses all their patients.  Everybody works hard, all the time and the level of teamwork is like no place else I have ever worked (with the possible exception of The Awesome Florida Hospital).

But, the best example of the culture in this ER was when a nurse was trying to call report to the floor right before change of shift.  Somehow, nurses who work on the inpatient units of every hospital I have ever worked, think that patients stop coming to the ED between 6:30 and 7:30 twice a day and we should therefore stop sending patients during those times.  Sometimes, they become unpleasant when they have to take a new patient during those times.

A particular nurse on the floor was very resistant to taking report and proceeded to complain about the continuation of a treatment the patient was undergoing -- a fairly common treatment -- and then was unpleasant to the tech who transported the patient to that unit as well as to the folks in central supply because they needed to resupply that floor with the appropriate equipment.

The ED nurse was very upset when the tech returned and told how nasty the floor nurse had been, in the presence of the patient.

She was planning to file an incident report.  Which would have been completely appropriate.

The next shift I worked, I found out that, instead, the ER nurse filed a commendation in the hospital-wide recognition system and thanked the floor nurse for the teamwork displayed by taking a patient at the change of shift and putting patient care as the priority.


Now it's a positive.  And the nurse who was so unpleasant, at least if she has any integrity at all, will now realize how unreasonable and inappropriate her behavior was and will likely modify it the next time she has to take a patient at change of shift, rather than continue to make the ER into the "bad guys".

This is a lesson I will keep with me for the rest of my life.