Thursday, June 21, 2012
No Phone = Peace
The clerk showed up in the morning and was missing most of the day. I asked her for something and she replied, "Now just because the head nurse isn't here doesn't mean you get to give me work." Her tasks on the unit consisted of drinking coffee and talking on her cell phone. I took her lead. I didn't answer the phone. She's not an island. Her work, or lack thereof, affects the rest of the unit. Her work, such as answering the phone, naturally falls on me. This day, I decided that just because she chooses to not do her job does not mean that I have to. Plus, most phonecalls are ridiculous and don't require a nurse, nevermind me specifically. I did accidentally answer the phone- someone was on the other line when I picked up the phone to dial. It was a clerk from within the hospital who wanted to know how to spell a doctor's name. "I don't know," was my reply. She persisted, "Can't you look it up in a chart?" "No," I answered, "We don't keep names of doctors in charts. Names of doctors are in the directory. Perhaps one of the clerks could help you." "I am a clerk!" she snapped. "Well, there you go," I answered flatly, "I have to get back to patient care," and hung up. The phonecalls are simply someone wanting to shove their work onto me, so my day went more smoothly when I let the phone ring and ring.
Only two people bothered to come to the unit when their calls went unanswered. One was from medical records, looking for charts. "I don't know where they keep charts for discharged patients. Maybe medical records could help you with that," was my reply. "I am from medical records!" was the response. She actually expected me to rummage through piles of unfiled papers [job of the unit clerk] while she stood there staring at me. The other visitor was the shift supervisor. "You don't answer the phone?" "No," I replied, "The clerk answers the phone." "She's not answering my calls!" was the nasty response, implying that I should be doing her job. "Speak to her, then," was my reply as I strutted off down the hall. Most supervisor will not go down a hallway, so it's a sort of safe zone for me to hide.