As many people know my Blog is very important to me. Recently I have stopped writing about myself on my blog, and the blog has suffered for it. My viewership has dropped from between 500 to 700 a day to yesterday was only 142. It has been running in the low 200’s. That is a hard hit for me with as much as I love the blog and the work I put into it. My blog has helped me to understand my world, my past and cope with my issues and pain. I am smart and secure in myself, but I admit I often don’t understand things. My blog helps me to do so.
I have not been blogging about myself because my life is basically split into two parts. The first and most important part is my home life with Ron and James, my wonderful marriage with Ron, and the things we do. The other side of my life is my job, my work. Well the truth is with everything going on and the drains on our money, we have not been able to go to the parks and fun spots as we normally do, we have been working on two houses, and trying to keep our financial ship afloat. So there is nothing to post there. As for work, much has been happening, but it has been serious stuff, and management has asked me to hold off talking about it, asked me to keep it quiet and not say anything. I will talk more on this later, after I talk to my management about it.
My employer, the corporation I work for, has a policy on what employees who work for them can post, say in the media which concerns the company, our customers, and our co-workers. I am sure every big company has such a policy. It is designed to protect them and their liability. I understand the policy and I have always abided by it. Both the corporate management and my own unit management is aware of my blog and I recently had an opportunity to find out that the company is very happy with my blog, (thinks it is well written and good) the steps I have taken to not mention the company, to protect PT information and to not embarrass them. They understand I mention the type unit I work in, what my title is, and what interactions I have. As for PT’s, the requirement is I give out no information that could be tracked back to any particular PT, such as name, room number, other identifying details. I have always been careful about this and the management is happy. I was asked to read over the policy again and to make sure when mentioning co-workers to be care not to libel or defame anyone. I can talk about the truth, about general things, but employee actions which involve management and sensitive situations must be done without naming names.
So now that you understand that let me talk specifically about my job, my title and how I feel about what I do. First two things I really want to stress. I am very lucky and love my job. I also want to mention I have never worked anywhere else where I felt management had as much concern for my welfare and wellbeing. I recently found out how much my director and supervisors cared when all that unpleasantness happened which I blogged about before. Then there was a party for the staff at the director’s house, and I have never gone because of the anxiety I feel in those situations due to my childhood abuse. However the management team encouraged me to go to the party, texted me support all day, and while I was there went way out of their way to watch over me and make me feel comfortable. I was both humbled and grateful for their efforts. I went for a couple hours, had a great time, but started to get very anxious and Ron and James decided they should take me home.
My job has many duties, and almost no responsibly. Sounds confusing but in practice works very well. I have almost no authority, yet am involved in almost everything and in some situations, critical to getting things done. It is hard to describe my job. The best way is to say I am a second set of hands for the nurses, an assistant so they can accomplish PT care, and a full time secretary. I describe myself as a secretary as my primary job function and most of what I do is in a secretarial function. I answer phones, direct both phone and physical traffic, and process all the physicians written orders. I handle supply issues, and interface with other departments such as supply, housekeeping, other units, management, and doctors’ offices. I contact doctors and other staff for the nurses and manage to make sure the nurses get the phone calls and messages they need. I also handle the tube system, passing medications that arrive to the proper nurse and shipping out what ever needs to go to the lab, or other departments.
That is a large portion of the secretary part of my job. There are a few more items that are included, but you get the point. Now I should mention I am a trained C.N.A.A. (certified nursing assistant advanced) however I don’t call myself a C.N.A. as most of my job function is not as a C.N.A. as in most places, on the other floors, and other units, C.N.A.’s do the majority of PT care. They are the main contact PT’s have with staff. But in the I.C.U.’s all most all PT care is done by the nurses themselves. That is because the PT’s condition is so critical. I actually have more contact with PT’s family’s than I do with PT. Let me explain.
One of the greatest joys of my job is helping the nurses; the other is helping PT families. Often when a PT is in the unit, a family is torn, upset, and confused. One of my duties as secretary is to help them out. Get them the help they need, make them feel better if possible, help them take care of their needs, and not be so scared. I keep coffee and tea and other supplies. If I get the opportunity when not doing other tasks, I often go room to room, intruding myself and talking with the families. I ask if I can do anything for them, get them anything, explain our rules and procedures on visitation and phone calls. I have been told by families I am the only secretary that reaches out to them and that I have made a big difference in their experience while their loved one is with us. Sometimes the best thing I can do is listen to them, to give them someone to talk to and either express fear, anger or hope to. I have been asked to pray with families, and I feel if it gives them strength and comfort I am very happy to do so with them.
However there is more to my job than being a secretary, there is the needs of the nurses to consider. I will assist any nurse who needs it, in good humor and willingness. I don’t feel it is an unreasonable imposition on my time. I am their extra hands and often the only one they can turn to. I don’t mind interrupting what I am doing, if it be placing in the orders or my other duties, to assist a nurse who maybe in a room they can’t leave, running to get them needed supplies, or joining them to help with a pull up, a PT clean up, or to assist them with getting a PT out of bed or to bed.
I have been told by nurses I am the only secretary who will do things like run medications to them when they come up in the tube system. Other people with my job just dump them on the tube counter for the nurses to come get. My feeling is these are nurses who are busy, who may need those medications right away. The nurses I work with are very grateful to me for doing this for them. I feel good because they are so grateful and thank me sincerely for doing this for them. I am often asked by nurses who need a hand if I will assist them when I get a few minutes, or asked if when I get a break I can give them a hand. Sometimes a nurse will call out to me they need help as soon as possible. I make sure I remember where or what I was doing and respond right away. Hey they are saving people’s lives, and if they need me, they need me, who am I to judge.
I guess some of the secretaries’ grumble or just delay or refuse. Some say they are too busy and tell the nurses to find someone else to help them. Some just refuse to help. I just don’t believe in that. I know about the other secretaries because the nurses I work with tell me. They thank me, make me feel good, tell me I am the only one who does it this way, puts the importance on their needs I do, and runs to help them with joy , happiness and a willingness to give my all. I don’t understand that really. I love what I do, and the nurse has the responsibility for the PT, and if they need me, they need me. Almost all the nurses I work with have treated me with respect, kindness, and as an equal member of the team. This is not to say that I can’t get overwhelmed and over loaded.
My job has so many different parts and functions that it is impossible to do everything assigned to me or do it all at once. A major part of my duties is the processing newly arrived PT’s and their orders. Creating charts and getting our systems set up with their information. I have to admit I can handle one PT coming in, other tasks, and help a nurse if need be. It is stressful but I can do it. However I am often asked to admit several PT’s, help the nurses, and get everything done, charts made, orders processed, and the system updated, get supplies and also answer the phones and respond to the tube system…all at the same time. I get overwhelmed at that point. But I know I can call for help. If Ron is there and has no PT coming in, he responds, so do the other unit secretaries, as I will run to help them when they call and need me. My unit tends to be the most busy and demanding and I love that unit so.
So this is some of what I do. I work only a few days a week as it takes everything out of me to do what I do. When on the job I give all I have and can give. But the joys are also grand. I work with Ron and see him often, we can check on each other, take care of each other, we eat lunch together and I have grand nurses, who seem to really care for me. As I mentioned I have proof management cares and will go the extra mile to help me and protect me. My job is hard, but makes me feel so good. I have the ability to move as needed for my bad back and artificial hip, and I can help so many, which gives me the most wonderful feelings of happiness.
When a PT holds my hand and feels better, their vitals returning to a more normal place, when a family member holds my shoulders and lets their feelings out and feel better and knows we care, when a nurse hugs me and tell me I made a big difference for them that day, and when my relief comes in and tells me they appreciate my getting things ready for them….that is worth it. It explains why I love the job I do so much and why I try so hard.
Many hugs…and remember I care.