Friday, October 14, 2011

about: learning how to be a supervisor

a few tidbits and thoughts from the last few weeks:
  • Always ask questions. Always. When someone calls in sick: what is your last name? where do you work? When someone calls that I don't know: what number can I reach you at? When I am asked to find something that I don't know what it is: what it is used for? what does it look like? what kind of packaging does it come in? any idea where to find it? When I am told about something that seems odd: is there something going on that I should know about? As a staff nurse, things just magically show up and I usually don't get the backstory when I am told to do something. As a supervisor, I am the scavenger-hunter and I don't only get to hear the backstory, usually it involves some kind of action.
  • I don't like going to the basement or the surgical areas of the hospital in the nighttime. It seems a little irrational, yes, but when I think of the many hallways and stairways and doors that aren't locked, it seems very slightly more rational and more fun to bring someone with me. Usually I go on these adventures to look for something (test strips, coffee filters, strange forceps, etc.) and in that case, two pairs of eyes are better than one.
  • People really like it when you help them and I really like to help people. So whether it's giving a cab voucher to that patient in the emergency dept (ED) that just has to leave right now, starting an IV, giving meds or transporting a patient, I feel useful and my co-workers feel helped. And that makes me happy.
  • Knowing how different departments work gives me the ability to help them work a little better with each other. When I know why the nurses in the ED do something a certain way, I can explain that to the med/surg nurses and hopefully help lower the frustration level.
  • Did I mention, always ask questions? more information is always better. 
  • As with everything at my tiny hospital, this role is unique because our place is so small. So while I'm not sure that this would be the job for me at a big, hopping hospital (i.e. St. Mary's), it seems that it is a good fit for me here.
That's all. Happy weekend.

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