I’ve been watching Undercover Boss lately which can be quite entertaining. Undercover Boss is a reality TV show (of course, which shows are not reality TV nowadays) where big bosses/CEOs/chief directors go, shadow and work at the frontline and backbone departments of their companies. It’s entertaining to see them struggling do the jobs and seeing how their people are working hard or having tough times to do their work due to limited resources, cutbacks, etc. At the end of it, they’ll be like ‘oh wow, I know how it feels now and I want to try to make their job easier’.
A lot of times, I do wish the big bosses see how the little people get on with their jobs in the hospital and see how we’re trying to keep up and get on top of things everyday. There’s a BBC article that came out recently naming hospitals who are understaffed. No sh*t, Sherlock. It’s been a problem in all the hospitals I’ve worked with (two of which was named in the article), more particularly on nursing and health care assistants staffing.
When I first started working in postnatal wards, I had to liaise a lot with the midwives and a lot of times, they can get stressy on me or not able to do the things I’ve asked them to do as quickly as I want them to. But after awhile, I realise why. There’s only two or three of them manning what could be more than 15 mommies and babies! That’s A LOT for two/three people. The paediatric nurses are brilliant though and are excellent in their job. They do have understaffing issues but I think they manage quite well in their circumstances. But when it gets super hectic with a lot of admissions, thats when things get difficult. It just takes one or two sick patients to take up a lot of your shift time and yet you have other patients to attend to. The adult medicine nurses though are continuously, I repeat continuously, overstretched and overworked.
No, it’s not an easy job in the NHS. I wish the big bosses would come down and see what we’re trying to achieve on a day to day basis and just hear what we have to say. Anyway I’m sure these kinda work politics exist elsewhere, everywhere, but doesn’t mean we can’t try to get things better and boost the staff’s morale. And yknow, just an acknowledgement is nice. One nurse came out after a staff meeting feeling exasperated – there were a lot of mentions of all the (not so big) mistakes that has been happening and nothing about what good has been done. All we want to hear once in awhile is a thank you and acknowledgement from our seniors of the work we’re doing. It’s good for the team, it’s good for the morale…or else we’ll just get depressed going to work and wondering why we’re doing what we’re doing.
There’s one consultant who’s brilliant though, in the sense if he thinks you’ve done a good job, he will tell you (he will also tell you if you’re not doing a good job, which is entirely reasonable!). And he will show his pleasure if you’re working on the same shift – you feel like ‘awhh he trusts me and finds me a good worker’. He likes to say after handover ‘well done xxxx, that’s a good handover’. You know he says it to (almost) everybody but it doesn’t matter! It feels good anyway! Like being given an apple by a teacher or a star in your notebook haha! The juniors were talking about the things he say that boosts our confidence and semangat and to top everyone else, one guy said he had a pat at the back after doing a presentation. We were all jealous! HAHAHAH.
Anyway, just goes to show…for all those leaders out there, for those who manage a team, for those who are more ‘seniors’ in their job, it doesn’t hurt to compliment on your underlings work. In fact, it motivates them to be better and in fact, they would go an extra mile in their work because you’re their boss/senior/manager.
A reminder for me when I’m further up the medical ladder, insyaAllah.