Nursing Blogs>Rob Cameron

Old fashioned nurse manager


When I started working my first job, delivering newspapers about 23 years ago, I learned that you showed up for work on time and ready to work.  I learned that you dressed appropriately for work.  I learned that if you were scheduled to work, you worked, or found somebody to work for you.

Lately, I have been noticing a trend among younger members of my staff: They don’t seem to think it is a problem when they show up late by 5, 10, 15 or even 30 minutes late for work. They don’t seem to think there is a problem when they come to me at 4:00 pm, wanting off the next day without anybody to cover their shift. They don’t seem to think it is a problem if they don’t show up for work at all, or don’t even call to let somebody know they won’t be there.

It frustrates me to no end when these things happen. I talk to them about it, reprimand them about it, and even threaten disciplinary action through work, but they don’t think it is a problem at all. When I explain that it increases the workload on the rest of the staff, which of course then threatens patient safety and quality of care, they don’t seem to think it is a problem.

Maybe I am old fashioned about this, but the ones that get promoted to charge nurses, or get great recommendations from me, are the ones that show up, show up on time, and take pride in their work.

Nurses who show up late (or not at all) to work are not representing the best of the health care industry, so I have to ask: Why are they in health care if they continuously insist on putting themselves first by just not showing up for their shifts on time?

So, call me the old geezer, but I’m still going to show up for work on time.

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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