Skip to main content

Disasters & Teamwork

The New York Times (photo from the article) details how challenging it may be for coastal hospitals to deal with the new realities brought on by natural disasters.  Bellevue Hospital, the nation's oldest public hospital, had to evacuate yesterday when its generators failed. Hospital staff had been sending fuel up 13 flights of stairs through bucket brigades to keep them running.

For all the craziness that happens during disasters, they are also some of the times when teamwork happens at its best.  It would be great if that kind of teamwork could happen all the time, albeit without moving patients down stairs due to non-working elevators and hand pumping respirators.  One of the biggest challenges I hear about from former students is navigating the complexities of teamwork between staff members.  Depending on the institution, in some places it is the nurses; others the nursing assistants.  Physician dynamics vary so much between teaching and community hospitals that you never know how that will factor in, but it always matters for job satisfaction as the evidence shows over and over again.

So next time you get frustrated with your co-workers in any job category, think about how those two hospitals managed to pull it together in the interest of patients.  Hopefully if you take a proactive attitude to address the situation in the best interest of the patient, maybe its a seed you'll plant to start making a positive change.


Popular posts from this blog

There Are Other Masters Degrees Besides a Nurse Practitioner - Part I

It strikes me that many students and nurses do not seem to know about the "other" masters degree options for nurses.  Everyone seems to want to be a nurse practitioner these days.  Now, that's great news for the primary care provider shortage, but we need nurses with masters degrees who can work in other positions and have other skill sets.
Let's review the other masters degrees in nursing.  Nearest and dearest to my own heart is Nursing Education.  Remember that really cool clinical instructor you had in your entry-level nursing program --that could be you!  Do you like precepting new hires?  Are you the person on your unit who unofficially keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest evidence?  Do you really enjoy patient teaching, whether in the hospital or community setting?  Do you just like to teach?  Nursing education is the right masters for you.  Skills learned in a nursing education masters cannot be learned on the job.  Curriculum writing and program developmen…

Why You Will Get a "Bad" Grade in Nursing School & Why It Will be the Best Thing to Happen to You

Perhaps you have been a straight A student all your life.

Perhaps you had one subject you struggled with, got Bs in it, but mostly As in the rest of your classes.

Then you started nursing school.

Most students quickly discover that nursing is one of the hardest majors at any university. Not only do you have a lot of time in class, your "lab" equivalent involves learning how to care for really sick people. Most nursing students spend between 24 to 30 hours per week in class --and THEN have lots of reading and other assignments they need to do to prepare for their "labs." After all, in a chemistry lab you probably won't harm or kill anyone due to the highly controlled conditions. When any health profession student is learning, there is always the risk for mistakes and it's why they are so closely supervised.

Inevitably, every nursing student gets their definition of a "bad" grade. For some, this is an actual failure of a class and that can happen fo…

Here's a Great Study Highlighting the Impact of Racism on Nurses

“I Can Never Be Too Comfortable”: Race, Gender, and Emotion at the Hospital Bedside
That's the title of a new study that just came out in Qualitative Health Research. The study of bedside nurses' diaries of their experiences reveals how nurses experience racism on the job. It comes not just from patients, but also from peers and management.
We have to talk about this more folks. It's time we deal with it better, in every setting.