Friday, March 13, 2009

Take the Good With the Bad


Everything in life should be balanced.  If we had no bad in life with which to compare and measure the good, how would we differentiate our experiences?  The stories of our lives would be painted with a single brush, and in a single color.    When I find myself troubled, I try to take what's bothering me and measure it against the most horrible ordeal I've experienced.  I count the day I sat in a psychologist's office, and heard his opinion of my daughter's chance for a normal life, as the worst day in my life.  I measure all other bad days against this one.  Some days and events come close, but few surpass the pure misery I encountered that day.  For the record, it wasn't the news he gave me, but rather his cold and uncaring delivery of his remarks.  He made me envision a bleak and horrific future for us all.  In short, he was an asshole.  At the time, I never told him so, but eventually, I did.  See Andrew?  You're still getting bad press for that rotten bedside manner you demonstrated 16 years ago.

With that in mind, I've waited to hear about my job for a month, while the entire time, I've been on pins and needles.  I measured my feelings against my bellwether day, and although I couldn't match how I felt on the worst day of my life, I was still incredibly worried.  With great relief and gratitude, I can tell you my job is safe.  I've spent an agonizing month worrying myself silly.  I've not slept through the night since we were given the news that we may be unemployed soon.  I'm so thankful that I cried when I was told today, but now I'm concerned, not for myself, but for other employees of my health system. Surely, something's gotta give.

I've been reading Paul Levy's blog about running a hospital.  He's proposed some interesting changes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and a lot of what I've read makes sense.  He's also opened up unique forms of communication with the employees of the hospital that fosters open dialogue and problem solving.  These forums are for all employees, not just management.  I'd embrace some of his ideas in my own hospital because I don't want to see any person that works for my health organization lose a job in these times.  I would forgo my raise, and (some) personal time off if it made a difference for the financial health of my institution, and continued employment for my coworkers. 

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14 comments:

Miss 376 said...

So pleased to hear about your job, must be such a relief.

Gail said...

Ah, relief and a job.

These times call for creative management and seems like you are up for that.

debra said...

When I read about Paul Levy the other day, I smiled. Here is a guy who gets it. And knows what he doesn't know. And trusts others to come up with creative solutions. It's not just what we do, its how we do what we do that makes a difference.
Given the chance, most of us would pitch in to make things work.
So glad things are ok for you. Now take a nap and get some rest :-)

Rose said...

So glad your job is safe. I haven't read Paul Levy, but we're talking in the school system about everybody sacrificing so no one loses their job too. And yet there are people in the system who have jobs that should be eliminated; not many, but some. Jobs that shouldn't have been created in the first place and teachers that need to leave the profession. I wouldn't want to give up my job for some of those but you don't really get a say in that. A moral dilemma.

david mcmahon said...

Good luck with the job.

Rudee said...

Miss, I'm incredibly relieved.

Gail-I don't have what it takes to be a manager. I'd be fired in a week. I did join a group for round table discussions about health care reform at the invitation of my US Senator.

Debra-I've been reading Levy's blog for awhile. I'm amazed that he'd blog his experience in the first place, but I do find it refreshing.

Rose-you couldn't be more right. While most positions in health care are necessary, some just seem a complete waste of time and money. Some people in those positions don't belong anywhere in the system.

David-thanks.

Winifred said...

That must be a relief about your job.

I can relate to your experience of doctors and their crappy bedside manners. Luckily when I got bad news about my son the consultant was lovely. Was very honest and admitted they just couldn't tell us how things would turn out for him. I admire them for that. However when my daughter was having her first baby and not having an easy time of it the doctor was hopeless. He would come in look at the monitors and speak to her without even looking. We knew he was having a hard time with two mothers who were having difficult deliveries but honestly! Eventually I couldn't take any more and spoke to the sister who was very nice and tried to make excuses for him. However I told there are no excuses when people are in pain and distressed. The consultant arrived and what a lovely gentleman he was. Absolutely delightful. Sat on the end of the bed and chatted to Claire making her feel much better. Now what did that take! Just a couple of minutes and a smile.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Sigh of relief...so happy for you.

I've added Mr. Levy's site onto my blog and see I have lots to read through. Can always use some innovative good ideas to pass among the right mouths and ears. It's still an "old boys network" way of getting things done here, but making sure certain folks have the info can work wonders.
In the meantime, we're doing a lot of cross-training here--oddly enough a lot from the NICU(newborn ICU)into our unit. I'm trying to hold onto every scrap of skills I learned on the medicine floors and when I was ICU float pool to stay as flexible as I can. You have a lot of great experience to draw from. Somehow not quite as fabulous as dreaming about our retirement years. Now I worry about being 70 yrs old and schlepping some patient from the bed to the chair(she says laughingly through her tears).

Rudee said...

Winifred, there are many fine practitioners who take their time with patients. Unfortunately, it's those horrible ones that give their profession a black eye.

Distracted-I can't foresee being able to afford to retire anytime soon. I miss critical care, but could no longer meet the physical demands of the job. The thought of going back to work at the bedside was terrifying. I'm so relieved I don't have to consider that option. BTW, how do you cross train from neuro ICU to the NICU? Insane.

Lisa L said...

Thank god,Rudee. (re: retaining your job)..I ran into a friend of mine who is a Public Health RN here on the Big Island. He told me that just this week the Public Health Dept laid off 250 people. 250! Just recently mental health benefits were cut and workers laid off...it is just an awful situation. There are so many people on the streets, who need help..and now? Barely any support available to them. Sucks.

Sandy said...

So glad to read your job is safe. Yeah!!! and I can imagine your worry about the others. Wow, what a cold uncaring man he must have been back in the day...hope that has changed.

flydragon said...

It's no wonder you couldn't sleep. Worrying about the job and of course the house hunting. Both now settled!!! A glass of wine and a long sleep are what you need now. Maybe 2 glasses:)

Renie Burghardt said...

I'm glad your job is safe as well, Rudee. So many folks can't say the same thing. It's heart wrenching to see people living in tent cities, etc. I just hope things will start improving in the near future.

Have a good Sunday!

Renie

Cheryl said...

I'm thrilled to hear your job is safe. What a huge burden is off your shoulders!

I'm glad you called your daughter's doctor an asshole. His insensitivity and negativity were totally out of line.

I'm checking out Paul Levy's site right now.

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