So the last few days have been a lot about hospitals and medical/surgical type information. (See here for previous post) And one of the things I have been reflecting on is this:
My first HR director was an ex nurse. She says her time Nursing was the best possible preparation for life – both Corporate and Personal – I’d forgotten she said that, yet, having chatted to the nursing staff and watched things over the past days, I’d say she was really on to something.
Nurses have excellent leadership credentials:
They must be rigorous in the routine, but able to drop all of that in order to respond to the unexpected.
They deal with grief, relief and unreasonable people.
They deal with a variety of human fluids and functions that many find distasteful – but they rise above the distaste, as that is what is necessary in order to move things from a state of illness to health – and in the end, there are only so many forms sh*t can take.
They learn to operate effectively in a hierarchy and speak up in the face of those awarded Power through their job title and status.
They work very very closely with the people around them – camaraderie, trust and communication are key.
They seem to dodge gossip, start it, or plug into it when it’s useful…. And fundamentally they seem to hold an understanding that people, particularly people in crisis, irrespective of who they or others think they are, are remarkably the same and need to be talked to. A lot.
They are under constant scrutiny, (from immediate care users, to the Managers, to the media and the politicians) yet they are not paralysed by indecision.
They conduct themselves with humour, professionalism, tenacity and empathy.
They translate REALLY complicated, jargon-filled tech-speak into simple, straightforward information.
They are not motivated by money, greed or big cars.
Perhaps many of us could do with lessons in nursing.
I can see a strong case for a model of nurse-as-leader.
On behalf of my family & friends, an enormous and deep thanks to the A&E, HDU and Ward staff at Kirkcaldy Victoria hospital and to the Nursing and care Staff at Lunardi Court Care Home in Cupar who are a constant source of information, support and humour.