I recently had an intriguing conversation with an amazing nurse I know, who possesses some of the qualities that make for a great surgical leader. This nurse holds a role in which she manages the surgical schedule, does some materials management and circulates. She is always positive, is a true patient advocate, and safety is her primary concern. I would clone her if I could.
The particular conversation in question was about managing the surgical schedule. As anyone who has done it knows, it can be a challenge. When I asked her how she remains so positive when dealing with all the challenges, she gave me an interesting perspective, and as soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted to share it.
She told me that she looks like the surgical day like planning an event.
- The patients are your “guests”
- The schedule is the “seating”
- The flow and order of the schedule is the “dance”
- The implants and supplies are your “offerings (food, drink and the like)”
- The pre-op call is the “invitation”
- The surgery center is the “location”
- The doctors and staff are the “talent (band, deejay, servers)”
As you hold your event, and it all comes together. Hopefully, if everything goes as planned, all arrive as scheduled, everyone gets taken care of, and the dance goes of brilliantly. She, as the planner, take pleasure as she watches it all unfold and go successfully.
I love her perspective. We are truly event planners with a purpose. What makes our roles even more special is that, instead of our “attendees” getting a nice evening, our patients get the care they need in an efficient caring manner in a specialized facility with the latest in technology, the best advances in medicine, with great experienced staff. When they go home, they are better. We fix their bones, improve their vision, repair, suture, clean, and bandage their wounds. We facilitate diagnosis, treat, heal, and provide hope. Sometimes our care can’t fix everything, and can bring bad news, but we do so with compassion and proficiency.
So next time you are dusting off your resume, you may want to add Event Planner to the list of amazing skills already on the list…advocate, leader, caring professional, coordinator, facilitator, and all those other great things that you do without even thinking about it.
And while you are facilitating your next day’s schedule, think about it with this perspective, and know you are planning an amazing event each and every surgical day.