Joy of Work at ABSMC

Posted on Aug 5, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Joy of Work At ABSMC

It’s stressful around here! Again! We could all use a little love – especially the nurses.

On the 5th floor the other day, an amazingly kind and smart nurse stood up and said, “That’s it! I’ve had it!’ and stormed away from the nurses’ station.  She nearly lost it trying to get a family access to see a patient. That same day another nurse got yelled at by family for offering the Covid vaccine and was nearly in tears.  Life on the nursing units is really hard these days. 

And different than last time around.  More anger than fear, but flashes of that uncertainty from last year rears its head, too.  “It feels like PTSD. I probably shouldn’t be scared, because I am vaccinated and have the PPE, but man it is really challenging at moments!” said another nurse.

There is a serious staffing shortage, too.  Often the nurses are without a charge or relief nurse and they are always being asked to work a “double”.  This is worsening their frustration.

I am at a loss looking for a word to describe how it feels on the units, so I will just have to say it feels crazy.  Maybe it is the right word to describe how it feels.  Wild swings of emotions – anger, fear, frustration, sadness – all happening as the work itself is harder due to some workflows that are changing every day! 

As physicians, we are feeling it too, but it seems we are mostly handling it better.  What can we do to sooth ourselves and help steady the place?  We should all be giving the nurses a little love!

I joined PCU 6’s 11 o’clock huddle just to thank them for their dedication and it was the most rewarding 10 minutes I have spent in months. They were so happy to have a doc validate their concerns and value their work. 

It is a win- win.  Our teammates are suffering. We too are frustrated and fed-up.  We can offer them some gratitude and a compassionated ear.  It can bring us together, lift us all up and help us reaffirm our sense of purpose as we struggle through another crazy twist in this wild unpredictable Covid drama!

So, take a moment.  Open your ears.  Open your heart and thank a nurse today!

Leif Hass, MD
Summit Wellness, Chair