Nursing unit managers. They often cop a shellacking from us nurses.
I have no doubt there are some dragon NUM’s out there that breathe brimstone and enjoy picking the gristle from the bones of those not experienced enough to acquiesce to their iron maiden will.
Or those who are seldom to be found. Schmoozing with the unseen, over long caffeinated meetings in executive offices on high floors. Their passing proximity only given away by the clopping sound of their high heels on the hospital corridor, or a glimpse of power-dress red reflected in the surgical steel as they disappear around the corner to another important networking opportunity.
Oh yes, I have met a few1.
But there are far more NUM’s amongst us who tackle the 50 spinning plates of managing a hospital ward with passion and dedication. They are advocates for their staff2 and put in the hard yards to lubricate and marinate the complex day to day operations of the ward environment. They are often first to arrive and last to leave.
Our own unit manager has to populate each roster with the thousand-and-one Sudoku intricacies and preferences of the 150 plus nursing staff working in our unit. Each shift has to have a balance of skill levels and competencies and allow fair access to courses and other time away from the unit.
Once the roster is finally published, there is inevitably a line outside her door.
Then there is the whole catastrophe of the ward budget.
You know, just those two things alone would make me want to chew off my own testicles to escape from the job.
Perhaps that’s why they’re called NUM’s (as in numnumnmnum…).
NUM’s must be able to pull the right quill from their pot to be arbitrator, facilitator, mediator, shoulder to lean on, fixer, statistician, and disciplinarian.
Yup, despite what we say, there are many NUMs who are definitely to be aspired to.
In fact I would go as far as to say that the best ones that I have met are worth their weight in (and I’m desperately trying to think of something medical, and really, really expensive here3 ), oh….Tiger Snake antivenom.
What say you?
Like to tell of your own experiences with NUM’s (good, bad or tiger snakes)?
- You want names? OK how about …..oh apparently I cant say that [↩]
- I don’t know about you, but I kinda like hearing a really good NUM talk about “my staff“, whereas when a not so hot NUM does it, it just sounds arrogant. [↩]
- we once had a nurse leave one of our medication fridges open and a batch of antivenom went off….$30,000 thanks very much [↩]