Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How not to be impressive.

It does not impress me if a nurse routinely complains at 1430 that she hasn't had a chance to open her charts. It makes me wonder where she learned her time-management skills.

It does not impress me if a nurse tells me he's never made a medication error. It makes me wonder how many of those medications he's taken himself.

It does not impress me if a nurse on our floor tells me she never has time for lunch. I qualify that with "on our floor" because we are very serious about food. See time-management skills, above.

It does not impress me if a nurse complains constantly about the fact that one of these days, he's gonna get sued and lose his license and isn't the culture of lawsuit-happiness awful. If that's his main focus, I wonder what and how he's charting and what the hell he's doing in the room.

It does not impress me to hear a nurse deny that she's wrong.

It does not impress me to learn of a nurse's difficult relations with doctors. There's no reason not to get along with doctors, with the possible exception of the occasional total nutcase. Even if you get off on the wrong foot with each other, careful negotiation can make a good working relationship possible. If you can't get along with any of 'em, the problem is you.

It makes me sad and does not impress me when a nurse obviously hates everything about nursing. I don't care if you felt trapped ten years ago when you got your RN; you can certainly afford to change now. If you hate it that much, take accounting classes or learn to throw pots on the wheel.

Drama fails to impress me. Totally.

What does impress me, and what I'd like to be eventually, is the sort of nurse whose patients rarely end up in the ICU, because she's caught problems early. I'd like to end up as one of those nurses whose gut feelings get taken seriously by residents and attendings alike, because he's been so careful in his assessment. I'd like to be one of those nurses whose charting is so complete and careful that you can tell, a week later, exactly what's been going on. I'd like to be the nurse who doesn't get flowery accolades from management, but whose patients always request her when they return after surgery.

I am very, very lucky to work with a passel of the latter sort of nurse and only a couple of the first sort.

But jiminy cricket, I need to work on my charting.


Shig said...

Yeah, I love working with the second sort. My old unit was like that, a lot of real nurses and they were good role models for me. And for all those whinging nurses who hate their job. Hello, nursing shortage! Make a change to something you like.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree on the drama! Sometimes I think there should be hospital Oscar awards...

By the way, you have been tagged for a thinking blogger's award...