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Stacks….a day in the life of a Nurse Manager

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Here it is, the end of the year and I can’t think of anything to write about.  I am sitting here at my desk looking at all the stacks of papers on my desk demanding my attention.

Schedule requests and changes, incomplete performance evaluations, a list of employee issues I need to address and now a subpoena (that will be a story for another day).  I am looking at all this stuff trying to figure out what needs to be done immediately and what can wait, but as you can see by the fact that I am writing this, I have no intention of doing any of it.

Stacks are what guides the day of a nurse manager.  Every time a new project lands on your desk, a new stack is created.  Every time an issue pops up, a new stack is created.  Then each morning it is the job of the nurse manager to determine how to handle those stacks.

Being an ED nurse and having been an excellent triage nurse, I am able to quickly look over my stacks and make a decision.  That stack there is chest pain and needs to be seen right now.  The stack back there has been there for two weeks, obviously it is not emergent, I will deal with it in time (most likely that time will be when I put it in the recycle bin).

Right now I count seven stacks on my desk and none of them are my chest pains, so they can all sit in the waiting room and wait their turn.  I will get to them some day.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
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One Response to Stacks….a day in the life of a Nurse Manager

  1. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    Rob, have a mentioned how I could never do your job. I’m so glad there are great individuals like yourself that have the ability to tackle those stacks.
    I think we all can appreciate a thing or two about prioritizing and selection. Best of luck!

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