Where I used to work and I imagine where all nurses work, and any other place I have ever worked, is like tip toeing through a land mine where people's emotions erupt and detonate at strange and unpredictable times.
Women aren't easy to work with and women who lack introspection are even worse.
I've been thinking about this! It seems that each department of the hospital had their pet obsession.
One unit of the hospital was obsessed with bladder emptying.
In another, the nurses were and probably still are, obsessed by paper work, and the Kardex in particular, a sheet of paper which itemizes a patient's orders and tests. If the Kardex is not filled out, these nurses believe the patient did not receive good patient care, when in reality, I may be choosing to actually talk with the patient and her family, or give her a massage or hold her hand in lieu of filling out a worthless piece of paper.
Some nurses on my unit were obsessed by the number of visitors permitted in a patient's room.
One nurse went so far as to come in my patient's room just as the patient was about to deliver a baby. The nurse admonished the family for having too many people in the room, who were extra support for her as she went through natural childbirth on up to 20 units of Pitocin.
This woman deserved a metal of honor, not a tongue lashing as she was embarking on such a profound experience!
One woman nurse mid-wife said that every pregnant patient's baby is a stargazer, meaning the baby is facing up instead of facing down, the preferred position for delivering a baby.
When these women delivered, she always said, "Ah, the baby turned!"
This same mid-wife was obsessed by the amount of stool in a patient's rectum.
One of my patients was recently admitted to the hospital for acute constipation.
She received so many enemas and laxatives that I am amazed she didn't poop a canon ball into the next county!
Are Gastroenterologists obsessed by Bowel Movements?
Are Urologists obsessed by the color and amount of urine?
Are Hematologists obsessed by the color of blood?
In any event, one mid-wife was particularly quirky about straight cathing a patient after she delivered her baby and before we transfered her to the Post Partum unit because if we didn’t, the nurses on that unit became obsessed about the amount of urine in that patient's bladder, which was their pet eccentricity.
Another used so many pillows to support a patient in a side lying position that there was a pillow shortage at the end of our twelve hour shift.
As a remedy, we did a Customer Service presentation for the entire staff of Labor and Delivery.
Our purpose in doing this presentation was to lift the morale of the staff and to give them Customer Service hours in the process.
Seemed logical to me to teach administrative staff Emotional Intelligence Skills so we don't have to work so hard in making everyone feel good!
A real control freak across the hallway from where we were giving the presentation gave us attitude during our Customer Service rehearsals.
She came in where we were rehearsing and told us to turn down our music.
She'd abruptly shut the door where we were working out our skits.
This woman had a way of plummeting vibrational energy fields to the lowest possible ebb.
The night we gave our performance to thirty employees, we were dancing and singing. Suddenly I saw this woman come bursting through the back door and walk straight towards me.
She got right in my face and for the first time, I really saw her, line for line complete with downturned mouth and furrowed brow.
"Turn down the music," she hissed.
"No," I said.
She grabbed my name badge which is supported by one of those movable threads. She glared at it, let it snap back to my chest, turned around and stomped out.
We continued with our performance, but I felt shaken up by her bad vibes!
The audience thought she was part of the skit to demonstrate how not to act with your customers!
The land mine extends to doctors and all of their pet idiosyncrasies.
Suffice to say, learning how to navigate gently through these explosive personalities takes much effort!
This is the #1 leading cause of burnout in my profession, not patient care.
I chalk up all of these obsessive compulsive behaviors to a provincial mindset.
Nothing exists outside of the hospital or the town where we all live for most of these people.
So I wish them well.
They teach me how to free my mind for more enlightened pursuits and aspirations.
Real Customer Service begins with change from within mind, body and spirit.
Several months after our Customer Service presentation, staff morale was back to ground zero.
We prepared another presentation to make everyone feel good.
If Ms. Storm Trooper made another appearance, we could present her with a Customer Service plaque with her name engraved on it!
And given her a front row seat!
Because if it wasn't for her, I never would have written this article!!
The vaccine controversy is causing landmines in the healthcare arena. Over 95% of doctors have gotten their CV19 vaccines, while nurses lag behind in getting theirs. Soon it will be mandatory. No one complained about the yearly mandatory flu shot. Logic has gone by the wayside in the (hopefully) post Trump era.