Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Saving Grace

I woke today, thinking about those people who are service minded and are the reason that I am able to survive in this world: nurses, doctors, firemen, police, EMTs, paramedics, 9-1-1 operators, and the military. Most are not doing what they do for the financial reward, but are paid so that they can afford to continue and give of themselves to others.
As a nurse and once was a pre-hospital emergency response person, I can tell you that there were many situations that I would have liked to avoid. It wasn’t always the hardness of the problem or the magnitude of the incident, but handling people was more often the difficult part of the equation. People in stress often respond in harsh ways, making the situation much worse. Their reaction can magnify the problem and I had to try to calm things on multiple fronts, separating and quieting each to find a solution.
I was a supervisor for almost twenty-eight years. As middle management, I was responsible to handle anything that occurred, whether it involved staffing, bed assignments, irate families, codes, infrastructure failures, and any other need that arose. It was always the human factor that created the biggest variable and was the most difficult to handle.
As a manager, I was responsible to present any changes made by the hospital’s senior managers and to see that these changes were carried out. Many were not the most palatable, but I tried to ease them in by making the changes interesting and minimally intrusive. I was responsible to institute the changes and would be held accountable if they weren’t.
Often the decisions I made had never been addressed before and my on-the-fly choices needed to be spot on. I believe that my training as a naval corpsman and pre-hospital emergency responder helped me to find answers quickly and more often or not, correct.
I started this post as a thank you to those who daily provide twenty-four hour service to those in need, but I wanted to hail and salute the men and women in the military. They serve and provide protection while they are thousands of miles from their homes and their families.

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