I’ve been in my own head a lot lately. You may recognise it when it happens to you. There’s a lot on. Some things challenging, some new, some different.
For me it was a combination of all of those things and the reason was that I was going back into the hospital for a ‘minor’ heart operation. I’m not sure what – or how – you classify heart operations as mi-nor, however this is what I anticipated it to be. And so this had been on my mind as I contemplated the consequences if something needed to done or if it was more serious and hence I was internalising a lot.
You can go down the rabbit-hole if you let your brain and imagination get too carried away, so I was being very conscious of monitoring myself. The other thing was that my key support – my amazing wife Rowena – was unable to be there. Rowena is a person who emanates calm and has that effect on most people that she meets or works with, including me.
So, I go through the process of admission. It’s early morning and I’m placed in a bed in the Cath lab – as were others waiting for their procedure. I was early, I was prepped and then was told that given I may need to have further surgery depending on what the Cardiologist found, I would not be going into surgery until late afternoon.
What that turned out to be for me was fantastic as I got to observe the dynamics of the team of incred-ible people who work in that special area as they manage the logistics, interaction and communication with each other and, more importantly, with the patients at a point in time when they (we) are at our most vulnerable. What I observed, in particular from the team leader who showed herself to be a lovely, gentle, professional, young woman, was a lesson in team and leadership.
I was surprised at how busy this ward was. A huge amount of patient and nurse movement as various people were brought in, taken out, returned, moved to other wards, staff going to breaks, coming back from breaks or surgery and it was run like a well-oiled machine. The patient handovers were very well done as team members were ending or starting shift, all with a smile, friendly and calm.
Each person knew their role, were asking questions to ensure understanding of requests, clarity around patient requirements, timing for surgery and more. What was apparent was their regard for each other and their genuine care for the patients under their care. With that was the sense of humour that perme-ated across the day and involved all of us.
At days end and after I’d been in for my surgery, the young nurse came to check on me as she’d been doing throughout the day – always with a genuine smile. When I asked her what her role was she told me that today she was team leader. She told me that she’d never done it before and I was surprised as she made it look as though it was her natural role. I thanked her and congratulated her on how effec-tive, authentic and caring she’d been to everyone that day.
I’ve met many people who call themselves leaders who would benefit from spending time with that lovely young woman and her genuine care.