Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ring Those Bells, Just Not in My Ears

            For twenty-six of the thirty-six years of my nursing career, I was a nursing supervisor. In the small hospital where I worked, I wasn’t only responsible for the nursing problems of staffing, complaints from staff, patients, and families, bed assignments, and problems with physicians, but all issues that occurred in the hospital. Every issue that impacted the patient became my concern and fell on my shoulders to resolve.
            One of the major irritations was the barrage of telephone calls. I have always hated talking on the telephone and will often put off making calls until I can no longer wait. It was almost a constant necessity that I use the phone. I would have to call for extra staff, cancel staff, or pass on information to patients about their next day surgeries. I would have to field calls of complaints, questions about medical problems, or taking phone orders from physicians for admissions or outpatient testing.
            Many times, I would walk through the hospital to talk with a person face-to-face instead of making the dreaded phone call. Part of it was the desire not to use the phone and the other part; I enjoyed the interaction with another person.
            All of these memories were stirred because of several calls that I need to make today. The reminders are on the desk in front of me and I am thinking, “Are there any that can wait, one more day?” I know that I am very much the opposite of those people today, who would almost die if they didn’t have their cell phones to their ears, but that is me.
            I never liked my voice on a tape recorder and that may be part of it. I don’t take a lot of selfies. I’ve never considered myself “poster-worthy.” Who wants to look at a Bizzaro world, Col. Sand

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