Calls Like This Make Being a Nursing Supervisor Worth It
I am often asked what exactly a Nursing Supervisor does. Yeah, I know. Many
of you quickly responded, "nothing" and that's OK.
On page one of our Job Description, number 4 actually says, "Realizes that staff nurses will think you don't do anything." We accept that, because we know that in reality, EVERY job in Nursing is a tough one, and we understand that many of you have no idea what we really do or the enormous responsibility we carry, so we forgive you. Besides, it does have its perks.
One of the most annoying yet constant jobs we have is answering questions over the phone. The majority of calls are from nurses who already know the right answers, and just need validating. Other calls pertain to policies, patient complaints, or doctor issues, but then there are the calls that allow me a good laugh at least once a shift.
I thank the switchboard operators for this perk. I couldn't do my job without them, because they know everything, but on the rare occasion when they don't know what to do with a call, they send it to me. I don't blame them. If I could send these calls to someone else, I would too.
Take for instance the man who called a few years ago, and asked for the morgue. I asked if could be of help, and he said no, he wanted to speak to someone in the morgue. I needed a minute...
Then I explained that the morgue was not a staffed unit, and again asked if I could be of help. No, he said, he was looking for his brother, and heard from someone that he was in the morgue...I needed another minute.
Foolishly, I supposed the problem was mine. I had assumed that this guy knew what a morgue was and apparently he didn't, so I defined it for him. This time HE took a minute. Then he said, so can I talk to him or not?
Never mind the rest, but calls like this I actually consider a perk of the job.