I never thought that, after having experienced leadership in Corporate America, that I would ever end up in a leadership position in nursing. Why? Because I know how tough it is to serve my customers, the people that report to me, my bosses, and somehow still be happy with myself. In the end, I usually feel like I'm in the middle of a panini being firmly pressed on a hot grill.
So here I am, Assistant Nurse Manager Panini, trying to take each day one at a time. It seems like I can never do enough for people; somehow I have to convince myself (on a daily basis) that I am doing OK. Despite my best efforts, each day is a battle. I should be wearing fatigues!
When I make my rounds, I am often met with complaints about trays, equipment, or the latest policy change. Missing an instrument? Send out the search dog --- that would be me. On a really bad day, there are five alarm fires to address with me, in front of an angry surgeon, trying to do some service recovery.
My co-assistant manager and I realize how many hats we wear during the course of our day. Teacher, psychologist, clinical engineer, housekeeper, artist, cheerleader, principal, and mother are roles that we morph into and out.
There are days when I am completely worn out --- when I can't listen to another complaint or hear another sob story. There are time when I wish the questions and requests for help would stop pouring in.
"You wouldn't have a job if there weren't problems," says a popular motivational speaker.
He's right, but sometimes I wonder if this job is good for me.
A couple of months ago, I watched "Stress: Portrait of a Killer." Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me.
Isn't it ironic that, while I am in the business of healing, I'm wondering if my job is killing me???
I'm just saying...
Nurse Panini signing off for now. Tomorrow is another day.