ICU Nurse Notes – Officially Official

fitness-nurse-modelI have really enjoyed blogging over the last few months, most recently with my old account that some of you have been following. As I realized how much I was enjoying it, I also realized that I wanted to get a little more “official” with a domain.

So, I enlisted the help of the one and only Chuck Reynolds (an amazing web developer who also happens to be my boyfriend) to merge my old blog onto my new domain. He has shown me a great deal about reputation management and personal branding, both of which I have embraced.

I am an extremely passionate person – I throw myself wholeheartedly into anything and everything I do, and my work is no exception. I love my career, through all of the ups and downs that I experience each and every day and this blog has been an outlet for talking about those out-of-the-ordinary days.

For those of you who may not know me, check out the “About” tab at the top of this page and you’ll get the dirt. If you’d like, you can subscribe to this blog’s RSS Feed to keep up to date.

A Perspective on Life as an Operating Room Nurse

DIVING IN – Five months ago I took my first job as a nurse leader.  I didn’t realize exactly how immense the road ahead was going to be.  Everywhere I turned, I saw another opportunity to improve our department – the way we practice and care for our patients, our processes, our turnovers, and our technology.
Although I am only one member of a new leadership team, I have my own burden to carry.  I must confess, the challenge is larger than I originally thought which is why I haven’t found the time to write.
In the new year, I’ll be writing about the challenges and perhaps, in a way, be sorting them out on this blog…

MOUNTAIN – When I was updating my former blog, I was a staff nurse at a big trauma center in the suburbs.  I have since taken on the challenge of being part of a leadership team assigned the daunting task of improving a surgery department in bad shape.  And when I say bad, I mean REALLY bad.
Little Trauma Center’s OR has not had a leadership team in over a year.  How they have been managing to run things is nothing short of a miracle.  The staff had been getting by, but unfortunately, the quality of care suffered and patient safety was being risked on a daily basis.

There are issues regarding practice (training, best practices, AORN standards), process (lack thereof), and the overall disorganization that is apparent when you walk through the department.  Needless to say, there is a lot of work to do!

The Chief Nurse Executive was finally able to bring in two strong nurse leaders to fill the roles of Director and Manager.  And now, the frontline leadership (me being one of them) is trickling in.  Reinforcements are on the way!

When you take a tour of Little Trauma Center’s surgery department, it is easy to make a mile-long list of things that need to change.  Left and right, surrounded by painful reminders of the lack of leadership, I think, “We can fix that…”  All we need to do is prioritize, right?  Hmmmm…  Maybe. I don’t know.

The only thing I can say with any confidence is that we will do our best, but it won’t be easy.  Between the size of the To Do list and the staff that needs to be on board with the changes, this is going to be one tough mountain to climb.

I’m putting on my gear, saying a prayer, and will begin the ascent…