Met the neatest person recently. Ever have that happen? Meet someone and, pretty quickly, think, “Wow. I really LIKE her?” Fairly often I find people interesting — mostly because I’ve come to appreciate humans and their depth. Everyone has a story, really; you just have to find it.
But this woman was a little more striking than even my common occurrences of finding people fascinating.
This woman is a top-notch, old-school, doesn’t-miss-a-beat nurse.
Now, I’ve been wondering some about how to share with you experiences I have in the hospital. In healthcare, privacy and confidentiality trump all else. You just can’t go putting everything in the newspaper, even if “storyteller” is in your genes.
But I think I have a way to share with you a few experiences while maintaining privacy, confidentiality and professionalism.
So, back to Margaret, the nurse who wowed me. (Of course that’s not her real name.)
I met Margaret during a shift we student nurses work alongside what’s called the house supervisor. If you did not know, an entire hospital is called “the house.” I think that’s true in theater, too?
The house supervisor is, best I can tell, the “brain” of the hospital. He or she has a bird’s-eye view of all the beds in the house — who’s coming in, who’s going out — as well as a snapshot of all the nursing staff needs — when to call people in, when to call them off, issues like that.
Think of the house supervisor as an air-traffic controller, which would be more accurate an analogy than not were the medical transport helicopter called out. The supervisors know about and handle every “big deal” in the hospital — code blues, problems with staff or patients or guests — and a helicopter with a fresh trauma would be a big deal.