Saturday 17 October 2009

The importance of nurses, bedpans to my career

Exuding the arrogance of expertise

Many a time, I have been caught up in what I might now with humility call the arrogance of expertise, where your confidence and assertiveness find voice in sound bites to make the listener very understanding of your position.

I have never really been able to persuade any manager of mine to send me on an assertiveness course, maybe I have been just a tad dishonest, when I look at it, and I am usually able to get my views across with much clarity without having to repeat myself.

When it comes to my profession, I offer solutions and experiences in the enterprise that sometimes requires radical change, but I always strive to ensure that change is not disruptive as I also try to persuade the reluctant of the need to step out into a proven adventure guided by a man with skill rather than with a cowboy who attaches horse-shoes to his heels.

Must work at commissioning

Despite the constraints of projects, budgets and time, my goal is to implement something that works at commissioning rather than deliver something on time and then spend months trying to get things to work, this is what gives IT a bad name and reinforces the blurred vision of outsourcing.

One area where I am not like your usual big-lettered architect, specialist or a good majority in Information Technology departments is I like to see the user’s perspective of my solutions, I do not mind sitting amongst users for days just t discover where they might have issues and then I return to the design with ideas for improvement that I forcefully put through the system.

This is what I call the User Experience Perspective, when I get involved in a project, my solutions affect the users the most, then the operators and administrators need tools for management and support that do not complicate their laden, busy and cumbersome chores and workflows and finally the enterprise that expects to benefit greatly from the ideas proffered and implemented.

Worth doing well

I have no qualms with the old saying which goes, “What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well”, when I am involved in a project, people can get sickened with the emphasis on “doing well”, that Utopia is usually not achievable but there would be enough fights to bring it as close as possible to a project done well.

With all this in mind, it is no wonder that I generally prefer to report to some infrastructure manager at Vice-President level and would rather not an operations manager because operations is about keeping things running, no matter the tools and problems, one can understand why change is immediately viewed as disruptive with the foreboding of catastrophe.

I cannot stress enough how I have the greatest consideration for operations and in finding ways to simplify, improve and/or eliminate manual procedures that are prone to error.

Can I put this in a CV?

How you bunch all this up into a marketing profile or curriculum vitae, I do not know, but once I am in the organisation, I am usually able to prove my mettle and value, it stands to reason that in the last 10 or so years, my jobs as a freelance consultant have come from the network of colleagues and recruiters I have once before worked with.

Recently, after writing a commendation to a manager I last worked for some 10 years ago, I received an email stating if our paths ever crossed again, he would not hesitate to employ me again. Thanks.

However, back to the inspiration for this blog that seems to have digressed but is still on topic is the importance of operations in an enterprise and nursing in a hospital.

Nurses and bedpans are critical to treatment

That arrogance of expertise is expressed in these words, “I am doctor, I don’t do bedpans”.

Implying, whatever it means but whilst I was glad to see the doctors every once in a while when they did their rounds, it was the nurses that the carers with the extraordinary commitment to their jobs, their care, compassion and unflinching ability to do beyond bed pans and much more that has humbled me.

One morning when I could get out of bed on my own to have a shower, as my feet got under me, the rush of lively blood to my feet was accompanied with pain that could only have been like my feet being set on fire over an over-acting barbeque, I was in tears and in serious agony.

They are up to task

So, as I sat under the shower, I told the nurse, I did not care and like she was prompted she got the sponge and soap, scrubbed me all over and showered me completely. Even the crown jewels were handled with such sensitivity.

You can be so vulnerable in hospital and then have these nurses, some still students who get in, get on and are part of the essential lifeline of the treatment process. Where one does not have guests, you can imagine how we all light up when a kindly nurse returns after each break according to their rota.

Even where I thought a few nurses were a bit tough, you soon experienced the milk of human kindness and compassion beyond words.

Commending the nurses at OLVG

I took the trouble to learn all their names and address them by name, keeping friendly and accepting with deep gratitude their help, conversation and service. I do not believe that matter of bedpans would cross my lips again as a tribute to these nurses.

Without naming their names, I still must make a direct reference to these people with the angelic disposition of goodness and kindness.

I was at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG) [1] for 18 days and this is for the nurses, porters and service personnel at section B.06. Thank you, one and all, I am full of gratitude, appreciation and deep acknowledgement of your service and care.

May all you lay your hands upon to do prosper and may your be rewarded beyond measure for the acts of kindness that continually flow out of your bowels of mercy and consideration. May great an abundant blessings flood your lives. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


[1] About the OLVG – Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis

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