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

Kone | Veer + Stockbyte | Thinkstock

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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