I knew the summer months would be busy. Nurses’ Week was hectic with speaking opportunities, dinners and newsletters. June was literally a “blur” as I spent three weeks at Voalte headquarters (wow, the new digs are amazing!), taught webinars, had a great visit to our friends at UIHC and spent five days in Washington, D.C., surrounded by nurses from across the nation. July is a “Magnet® Month” with visits to clients, document review and a certification exam at the end of the month.
The common denominator that has kept me on track through this whirlwind has been my smartphone. I don’t know where I would be without my iPhone® (yes, Rich I’ll admit it again). Being able to screen calls, emails and text messages (day and night!) and to handle communication on my schedule has kept me “almost” caught up.
This crazy time reminds me of my shifts as Night Lead in Labor & Delivery, when I would receive as many as 12 pages before I could even get to a landline to return a call. I remember being stopped as many as six times on the way down the hall to the phone. The interruptions came from phone calls, pagers, staff members, physicians, visitors, fast food delivery (we had to eat!) and staff who were too ill to come to work. Each situation required my time, and often additional calls, coordination and delays in getting things accomplished.
You know, I don’t seem to thrive on the chaos the way I used to back then. Today’s nurses and Chief Nursing Officers are dealing with the same things that impacted me, amplified exponentially! As Accountable Care Organizations become the reality and the focus of care moves to health promotion and illness prevention, the ability of nurses to instantly communicate, and to asynchronously coordinate care, will be even more vital. Not only can we limit the interruptions in our lives, but also the number of times we interrupt others.
Think about that the next time you select “reply to all.”