Post-it 8/21/22-Birth order as related to being in charge

The gown card reads, ‘Being in charge is just like being the oldest: set an example, don’t pick on your younger sibling, watching as the baby gets all the support.’

Looking at the note I would add dealing with all the shit because parents (management) isn’t around. And having to deal with tattle tales that didn’t get their way (request) and so they went straight to parent (management) to lie.

And you, as the charge nurse and the older sibling surrogate, being told that the parent (management) is disappointed in you.

Any one else get a shiver of recognition?


Just me?

Do you not have siblings?

It is important as the charge nurse to set an example for the rest of the staff. In some places that includes following all the policies, and not complaining that they don’t make sense, even if they don’t. And believing in the company line. At all costs. Following the dress code, when it would be more weather appropriate to wear lighter clothing. There are many things that a charge nurse has to do to set an example.

My favorite part of the gown card is don’t pick on your younger sibling. This is absolutely true. It’s not fair to pick on someone who doesn’t know as much as you do. But I will absolutely tell a toddler don’t touch that because its hot and you’ll get hurt. I will also tell a coworker don’t flash that, the patient might get hurt. Shades of distinction, maybe. But both are truth. To be in charge you have to protect the patient. No matter what the doctor or the staff is demanding.

I’ve written about tattle tales in other posts. Just know that they are out there and will tell on you in a hot minute if they don’t get their way. This may lead to you being told to play nice, and let the baby have its bottle. While you don’t get to tell your side of the story, about the lead in the pain in the milk. (yeah, stretching that simile rather far)

But management not having your back in disputes, that undermines the charge’s authority to run a safe, productive OR. And that can lead to unsafe situations. But what do we know? We’re just charge, not management. We just love being told that at my last hospital, this is how it ran. Well, why did you leave your last hospital? This will be a later post.

What I’m going to write about next is watching the baby get all the support. Because, like it or not, sometimes all nurses and techs need support. It is damaging to existing staff to watch the new kids get all the attention and new toys. While we work without complaint, and having worked through exactly that the new ones are complaining about for years.

Sometimes because I told you so is a valid response.

But, maybe, stop damaging what little authority we have? Pretty please with sugar on top?

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