Tuesday, November 25, 2008

cover me

I've been grumbling about work for the last week, so here's where I go all Gemini and say that I can't imagine ever leaving my job. Or more specifically, that I can't imagine ever leaving this job. Never mind that I bitch and moan with the worst of them...I don't see myself ever willingly leaving this job.

This is not to say that my job is perfect, because it isn't. I miss trauma. I really do. That gut wrenching, blood spewing, helicopter landing trauma that feeds my inner adrenaline junkie so thoroughly is a hard thing to give up. I know I'm a sick, twisted individual and I'm dealing with it the best I can. In the meantime, I'm smart enough to realize that I've pretty much fallen into The Dream Job and that it's never a good idea to tempt the gods.

My boss is an enormous part of this. The tone of the department, the morale, the teamwork...it all starts with her. I hate to gush, but I would walk on glass for this woman, and I'm fairly sure I'm not alone. The people I work with are also a huge factor. Everyone - nurses, doctors, PAs, aides, unit secretaries, registration, techs, housekeeping, security, medics, lab, radiology - gets along smoothly enough that it mostly feels effortless. I can honestly say that I like pretty much everyone I work with, although of course there are those you gravitate toward more than others. There are personality clashes to be found, but for the most part people tend to make nice and play well with others. You have to know that your back is covered, and other people have to know that you have theirs, too. Once that trust is established there's no looking back.

We also tend to be more laid back than you might imagine. We have to be. If you fall apart or stress out about every little thing, it makes for a very long shift. Not to mention a very short career. By the same token, there's very little in the way of angry outbursts or random bitchiness. There's some, of course. We can trash talk with the best of them, but tend to save it for special occasions.

This week was one of those occasions.

I'm not going to bore you with the medical specifics, but someone - either the surgeons or anesthesia, we're not sure which - decided that we needed to change something we do routinely. This change, it goes without saying, would make their lives easier and ours a lot harder. Not only would it make us potentially have to do the same task twice, but it would also put us on the spot immediately in terms of our critical thinking and, as we put it, (very tongue in cheek), our ability to forsee the future. Basicallly, they were expecting us to know immediately if a patient was going to end up needing surgery - before labs, before x-rays or CT, before anything. Not bloody likely.

To make it even worse, the first we really knew about it was when one of our nurses got reported without any warning. Not only one of our best nurses, but one of our most universally liked. And the way it was done was by going around our boss, which pissed everyone off. And the next thing you knew, this nice, cohesive, flexible group of people all grew fangs. Loudly and simultaneously. We all said they could write us up until the cows came home, but we weren't going to change a thing we were doing. We started doing what they didn't want us to do even when we ordinarily wouldn't have done it in the first place. Out of pure spite. The non-rabble rousers were fired up, the hell raisers were in flames, and when one of our most devoutly religious nurses stood in the hall and loudly said F#*k 'em, we knew this was going to get bad.

But it was over before it really started, because our boss forced a "meeting" with our adversaries and took them on head first. And two hours later, she staggered out of the room and said, "Never mind. Do it the way you always have. They've finally seen the light." They even apologized to us, for the love of god. Do you know what it takes to make Surgery apologize? A lawyer and a video camera, that's what. Oh, yeah. And my boss. My wonderful, fabulous, 24 carat gold boss. My ass-kicking, take no prisoners boss.

Who needs trauma? I've got everything I need right here.


my two cents said...

Yea for the nurses!!

ped crossing said...

Thank goodness someone has your back. Does she have a twin in education? We need someone stat!

Maggie May said...

Just a s well there is some one rooting for you!
You all do a great job as I have said before.
Glad you enjoy it amidst all the stress! I guessed you did!
It sort of shines through your posts all the time!

softinthehead said...

Glad to hear things worked out. A great boss is a wonderful thing!

laurie said...

i know that conflicted feeling. since august, i've been the books editor at the paper--a job i've aspired to for years and years. i'm extremely happy, i love it, it's a great job, i'm well suited to it. and yet....and yet.... damned if i don't miss breaking news. the long hours, the excitement of deadlines, the intensity of chasing the big story.

Rudee said...

It must have been a slow day in the O.R. when the genius who dreamed this hair-brained scheme had the light bulb go off. Why did the nurse get written up? Is it now her job to be a diagnostician too? Sheesh. Although your boss saved the day, it would have been more satisfying to mobilize the O.R. teams at all hours of the day and night for every little hangnail that came through the door. By doing it this way, everyone in the O.R. would have slaughtered the genius with his own scalpel.

Marti said...

When you get a good boss, you never want to leave them, that is for sure. I am glad you have one in your court.

Devon said...

Excellent! Did you get the surgeons appology on video? It would make a great post!

aims said...

I noted how Altaglow called you a *warrior* - and it made me smile and nod my head.

Apparently you have a whole clan of *warriors* where you work. I envision Amazon warriors with their breastplates and spears standing there and saying 'bring it on - I dare you!'

Akelamalu said...

There are times when you all just have to stand together and fight and by God it works!