when ones word is not good enough

I get questioned a lot not just in my job but also in the volunteer work I do. I am finding if some people do not like to hear the answer they go fishing else where, what is that? Now that I work in the hospital, some wish to go to the new CEO with the same questions, he is even perplexed about this practice, especially when I tell him that I feel that I have answered these before. The comment was even made, that he received 2 phone calls both asking the same questions and I stated that this is common practice, they have obviously gotten together formulated the questions and called separately. They are on a fishing expedition, I have told others in confidence that I will not reveal their names for offering us assistance and this I will not divulge and no one respects this. Should one feel affronted about this?

I refuse to hand over information others have asked me to keep confident. I understand this terminology and have given everybody the information regarding these issues, handed out direct contacts but I will not give the names of people who wish to remain anonymous what reason would I do that. The people looking for this information though in positions where they need to maintain a high level of privacy & confidentiality there are some pretty big leaks. Why is confidential information sharing ok for some and not for others. I will not give in to these requests, not to anyone. I respect these people and I want them to respect my word of secrecy for I value the assistance they can give us.

It doesn’t make me feel offended I actually laugh at the fact that people can not respect my word. It is obviously not good enough and some feel (perhaps I am unsure as I have no idea of their motives ) their position gives them rights. Perhaps they want to ‘out’ me as a liar or not telling the truth. Why can is just not be that there are some people who want to help and not want people to know, their motives are pure in deed and action but just do not want the publicity. I will continue to work and maintain this privacy at all costs, it is not making me friends but with friends like that as they say – who needs enemies.

change is a happening

well here I sit in my office, having been and visited all of the residents, spoken with staff and sent a thank you to Fantastic Furniture for their wonderful donation for our Doctor’s house. It is truly amazing the lengths that some people go to to share and want to be involved.

I have had a knock at the door and in she came, one of our senior staff members and an assistant in helping change. We had identified a process in her department that has needed to be changed for a long time and without any input she has done it. Well done you! I am thrilled to see that the small amount of support you have been given has driven a major and corrective change within her department. This is major progress, a giant step into the 20th Century and leading by example is always preferable than being dragged. I always had the confidence in her to do this.

I am a good conduit for change, I take challenge in assisting this to happen and I take pride in trying my hardest not to offend people along the way. It is hard to master, people are some times precious as they take it as a personal insult to tried and tested practices. I have leapt into this job thinking I was doing projects and fundraising, instead I find myself elbows up into legislation, Aged Care Funding, Bed stats, nursing shortages, staff contracts and Board Meetings. Somehow within a 3 week period I have made this leap.. I surprise myself at times and this is one of those times, I am tired today as my days have gotten longer to complete the tasks I have started. I have a list though I am working through it still appears to get longer, one of my beautiful sisters called last night to ask if I ok as I have not twittered as much. It is hard at night as I am on call 24/7 currently and I am reading Aged Care guidelines for idiots, Operating theatre is my speciality and this is all new.

My change in life is evolving and I hope that I am supportive to the staff and residents. Effective in bringing change for the better and knowledgable enough to ‘pull this off’ in the short-term 🙂

to hump or not to hump?

It’s Wednesday and my week seems to be slowing down, the juggling act that commenced on Monday seems to be how I am rolling this week. It is a rubber necking sort of ride, every twist and turn has me performing many a change in direction and challenge. It is salon day at the Keith Hospital, where mani’s, pedi’s, hair washing and drying is to be performed. I love the nurses here they ensure every woman resident regardless of mental status, bed status are all taken to our lovely hairdressers and are given the treatment. It is a joy to see how they take the hands of the confused and gently guide them to normality even for a little while. Kate Swaffer I hope this gives you a small comfort with your ever-growing dementia.

But to hump or not to hump had me lying in bed contemplating doing the Aussie thing (no not THAT) but throwing a sickee. It was warm and I feel rested and secure in my bed. I no longer need an alarm my body clock has me awake most mornings at 6am so I can do my walk, this morning I must admit I choose the option of catching a few extra zzz’s. I know it’s going to be a long day, with the follow-up from yesterday still to be complete and board meeting tonight I will not be home till 10pm or later. How hard is it to function when you feel heavy-headed not from a cold but from tasks and timelines, talking too much and typing. I feel lucky though I have a job that is offering security, challenge and has invigorated my nursing skills again.

Now the challenge for me is to not count the hours down till I go but to be involved, relevant, engaged and communicative in order that every one feels worthy, wanted and happy. I watch the stroke victim being challenged to walk and he hates it, but I see the carer encouraging, cajoling and responsive without harsh words. These are some of the reasons why I love the Keith Hospital and am fighting to save it, it is unique, it is relevent and they are a family.

hiding the truth is it a no no

I have arrived at work early thinking I would be able to get my blog done before I start my work, but as usual tiresome Tuesday’s are becoming the norm for me. I had mixed up my times and thought I had an hour from 0800 till 0900 before staff orientation, This is not to be I have mixed it up, but I have missed calculated my time management skills. I do run a diary but over the last couple of days have not looked at it my bad.

When dealing with the truth is hiding it a no no? I often wonder this as there are many things in people’s lives and work life that will reflect the need to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. In the words of Jack Nicholson “you can’t handle the truth’. Most people can’t and in some of my dealings and experiences with this issue, many prefer to hear the gossip truth, if they hear it from a 3rd party most times this is said as gospel. Whereas if you are fronted with it most people only hear what they want and dissect the rest for fodder.

Are we prepared to be ‘affronted’ as I was accused of causing yesterday. I used the word discrimination in a memo and was told this “affronted” a staff member, my response was “uhum” so I achieved my aim. The person this was directed at was the person who took the most offense and that is not surprising considering the memo.  I have asked this person to come back to me and tell me how I could have worded it without being specific to the person it was aimed at and how can we stop this behaviour. To my surprise that person has spoken with me and identified it was directed to them as upon them gleaning support from fellow staff it was found this was not there. I was actually thanked as they are now aware that I was hiding the truth. Should this be the example of not hiding the truth or should we move forward to ‘putting it out there.”

There are many aspects to my job where I have to not disclose people’s names and not just to protect their privacy but to protect them from gossip, bullying and all forms of things we wish not to experience in our work place. I am a protector or secrets, an advocate of rights, the voice of the unconscious and people who are unable to defend themselves and most importantly I wrestle with the fact that I like to treat people the way I would like yet there are times where the truth hidden is a blessing in disguise.

Why are Monday’s so Hard

I rarely struggle on a Monday but today I am. I ran around last week like a mad idiot and came to a screeching halt on Sunday. I was in Adelaide twice for fundraising functions, being lovely to lots of people for a sustained amount of time is wearing me out. It is not that I am not lovely 100% of the time,(right)  I choose to inflict my loveliness on others at my whim. I am sure many of you are like that as well.

Mondays always seems to be the day we decide to do many things, I have read and am open to correction most of us plan and start a diet on a Monday, many front up to work and decide they are going to change jobs and go actively seeking them so by the weeks end they have planned interviews. I am starting this week as Director of Nursing a role which I haven’t done before but many years ago in the back of my mind and when I was nursing perhaps I was aiming for it. It is an encompassing position and one which in a small country town is an on call 24/7.

There are forms to do, incident reports from the weekend to attend to, I have had people come into my office just to chat, I have done a ward round and my pile of papers seems to be growing where though I have actioned them they need filing. I’m not good at maintaining a neat desk never have been. That way if anybody is looking for anything it will take them ages to find it and they won’t waste their time.

Enjoy the day – may it end soon


is there really ‘fun’ in fundraising

I was at a function this week for thelongwalkhome2012

check out this blog and follow and donate to her she is an amazing young lady who is walking the Simpson desert to raise funds for the RFDS and I am proud to say she is also my cousin. But after all of the work I have been doing for the Keith Hospital in the ‘fun’draising capacity, I drove from Keith after work to attend this function at Glenelg, stayed with my daughter and then got up at 430am to drive back to Keith to work.

For those attending a ‘fun’draiser they go knowing they have to pull out their wallets and bid, play games, toss coins, participate in auctions, donate goods, products such as key rings, stubby holders to purchase and this is after you have paid to get in. This is not a go at the process this is to highlight how the process works. There is food to consume, drinks to swallow, meeting people who come from everywhere to support the cause. There are speeches to go through  and stories to hear. Most times inspiring, poignant, sad, happy and people want to hear them. It makes one feel attached to the cause, understand the motives as to why funds are needed. Once we know this many are happy to spend, we do then go home and forget it. I have found many are happy to attend and those that are not won’t come, for many and varied reasons.

Jenna Brook is attempting to walk the Simpson to raise funds for the RFDS and when she started she wanted to do it for nothing. Then her family told her to do it for a cause. In raising funds what people don’t see is the people or person behind the scenes that do the do. They are the ones who ensure the ‘fun’ is in ‘fun’draiser. They chase people, write letters, take the flack if it doesn’t work out. They make the calls no one else wants to do and most importantly they ask for money. This is a really specialised skill and one which many people can’t do. I have been in sales for many years and I have been able to do this, I have people in my own business who are shocked when I ask them to pay me before I let them out of my shop. But when ‘fun’draising I have no fear or shame as the money is not being gleaned for personal use it is for the ’cause’.

Good luck to Jenna and all the others who today are out doing things for other people. We are an amazing race, where we try to help others, I watched Dick Smith this morning and he should be held up as a national treasure instead he is treated with disdain as he offends the government with his push to support our dying industries and as a philanthropist he is probably unmatched in Australia, if there is somebody else greater please let me know. Oh and by the way the next time you are asked to a fundraiser – having seat warmers is good for the figures, you don’t really have to buy any of the additional extras.

saying yes when you meant to say no

I have always thought I was a strong person but at some stage in my life, I can’t even recall when i started doing it perhaps I always did but I can’t pinpoint the incident when I said yes and knew I meant to say no. I have thought about it a lot as I sometimes feel I could kick myself for putting me in the situation where I don’t want to be. It’s terrible and I am sure I am not alone with this practice. I hear this voice coming from my mouth that says yes and my head is saying no, sometimes the action is there as well, it is not a nod of the head but a shake as you hear yourself saying yes. There are pages and pages on this topic in google so it must be that we all do it at sometime in our lives.

I find myself in a situation where most times I can now use the distant card (300km from CBD of Adelaide) to beg off from doing things I don’t want to do but sometimes distance is also the reason why I can’t get there and feel I miss out. But I wonder sometimes when I feel at a low ebb or happy to connect with someone who I find myself saying yes when I KNOW I meant no. We all strive to maintain friendships and business connections so sometimes we are calculating in our response of saying yes. In this instant it is to further a career, get out of a rut, expand our lives or just generally to increase our profile,

In a social setting or in the art of getting acceptance we say yes. There are many parents on their children’s school committees that I am sure that are there as they want to say no but feel a duty to the organisation that is looking after their child or children or want to help smooth the way through the years of schooling by getting involved so say yes. Being part of a group or committee makes saying yes a bit more pleasurable and it is important to children that parents are involved in the school, I remember doing canteen and the delight on my daughters face when she saw me there. By being involved in groups or organisations means a different network of people.

In doing what I do for the Keith Hospital I have been asked to do many things, be media spokesperson for the group when we have protested. I have been asked to take on tasks that have put me front and centre of the Keith Hospital campaign. I have organised and rallied groups to keep our campaign alive and in the forefront of media and the general public. Though our fight is still ongoing and getting desperate daily we are slowly sinking into an abyss that may or may not lead to extinction. I am fighting to fight as hard as I can to prevent this happening but it may be futile. In doing this it puts you at risk of criticism, personal attack, back stabbing and gossip. It is not a nice place to be and it is slowly wearing me out. I have been asked to run events when I have no clue and wanted to say no but felt obligated to say yes. It has done me no favors, it has made some ungrateful and selfish.

We have a new CEO at the Keith Hospital who started this week and I am quickly growing to like him enormously. I find him approachable, he sits in his office with an open door and is inclusive and consultative in his manner. I am currently acting DON (Director of Nursing)  which was one of these I wanted to say No but yes came out of my mouth. It has shocked some in Keith as many are unaware I am a triple certificated RN currently (very slowly) doing my Masters in Health Admin and still practising.

I have been invited to a Business Development Meeting with a friend who does Amway and found myself saying yes when I meant no. Luckily for me it is the same time I have to run a daughter around to one of her friend’s wedding. But here I sit knowing this and can’t bring myself to call my friend and tell her. It is not her fault it is mine, it is nice catching up with her as she has recently moved back from Kangaroo Island but it wears me out. I don’t want to sell Anyway it is one of those party plans that puts people off side. But that is a topic for another day. I hope this week I can say no more times than yes but smoothing the way is a priority when we need to keep the Keith Hospital alive. So when I ask for help, send someone from your organisation to the Arkaba Ladies High Tea, April 20th 2012 details at http://www.keithhospital.com.au/