Seriously, it was a rough night.
I was floated to the emergency room last night. E.R. is not an easy place to work, and I work it so rarely. They gave me the main half where the codes and emergencies come in, and they gave me two paramedic students to work with who are on their clinical rotations. My expectations were “to show them the ropes.” Me, in classic Stuart–Mode, looked around and asked, “Show them to me first!”
In the past year, I’ve worked the emergency room twice, and last night was night number two. The rooms were full; there were 17 triages in the waiting room, and there were very few beds in the hospital. Ambulance after ambulance lined up outside, and more and more people came to triage.
Somehow, I made it through.
The Clinical Nurse Manager worked 16 hours on the floor with us (actually, it might have been more – I think she was there until 10:00 PM). While I was juggling stretchers and rooms and directing the paramedic students to various tasks while using all my clinical skills (most of which I haven’t used since the last time I was stationed in the emergency room), I heard her tell the Assistant Nurse Manager, “I LIKE him. Does he want to work here?”
Later (much later), the Assistant Nurse Manager took me outside for an overdue break. By this time I was feeling inadequate – the work kept piling up, and I had a hard time keeping up. I apologized to her for being so inefficient. “No,” she says, “You’re wonderful. The nurses can’t believe you keep up. And the patients are loving you. How can we get you to work here? You’re like this every time, and consistency is something we need out of our clinical techs.”
I was feeling like a worthless rag . . . when she thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. “Besides, doing all this with your inexperience tells me that once you are experienced, you’ll be a force of nature! Watch out for Stuart!”
It renewed me. Praise is such a powerful motivator (and I’m making a note of that for later use).
And guess what? I’m going back in there tonight! Our E.R. team is fabulous, and all the doctors are a pleasure with whom to work. But I love my MSU coworkers more, and I think that’s where I need to be.