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

To Post-Doc or Not to Post-Doc, That is a Very Good Question - Part 1

Happy 2019!

Much to my surprise, I realized I went all of 2018 without posting anything. I got tenure in 2018 so technically, I should have had more time with that monkey off my back. Yet as a wise colleague told me, tenure usually means more work. Sure enough.

Nonetheless, let's start 2019 off fresh with a burning question I get from many of my PhD students: To post-doc or not to post-doc. For those of you not in academia, I post-doctoral fellowship (post-doc) involves additional training. You see, science has evolved so much these days that despite doing a PhD for 4 to 7 years, you might need more training.

I went into my post-doc reluctantly. After 5 years of PhD study, I was really hoping to have a just one job and a regular salary that might actually allow me to travel and start paying down my student loans. A post-doc just seemed like more years being poor.

It was, however, the best decision I ever made. I was lucky to have a great mentor who passed along many wonderful oppo…

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…

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.