We had a great meeting. It was nice to have friends from work come over, see my house, meet my wife and enjoy some snacks. It started out a little weird. We had nurses from our floor but there was also Ana’s friend from the ED, Lookouts old roommate from the BirthCenter and Union Guy brought a couple of nurses that none of us knew. He also brought a nurse from the union hospital down the street. Someone thought had been followed here by some manager and had seen a car pass by a couple of times and Union Guy went outside to “check it out”. He came back and said the coast was clear but it made it all feel a bit more conspiratorial.
The nurse from the other hospital was really great, she’s a nurse from a floor that is a little more specialized than mine you could tell that she really loves the work she does and that she knows her shit. I don’t know why it’s so important, it doesn’t make her answers any more or less true, but I think I just sort of expected that she would be kind of a complainer. She mostly talked about the nurses in her hospital – it seemed like she knows everyone who works there. It seems like there is a lot more communication and working together. Don’t get me wrong she explained how they still have problems, with each other and with management but it all seemed much more orderly and much less raw.
It was really good to meet the nurses from other floors who are working on this project. I know Ana has said there are others but to hear their stories about how things are being done on their floors you can see we have a lot of the same problems. Even when the problem is not the same, it is clear the underlying cause is that our jobs are controlled by people who either aren’t nurses or who are so far removed from the floor and what is happening right now they can’t advocate the way they should. I felt like I had something to add, like my opinion mattered even though I haven’t been alive as long as some of them have been nurses at this hospital. I even had a moment when I could answer a question before Union Guy could get it out “This is going to be OUR union, we decide those things!”
Most of the time my wife was either on the edges of the living room or in the dining room listening. I feel like she has a better understanding of what I do at work, about how we relate to each other. She got to see me speak up a little and hear how important this work is not just to me but to other real verifiable people. Also my work friends got to see there is some actual non-nurse / non-patient person who loves me so I can’t be THAT bad.
Also Ms. DudeNurse made some AMAZING three bean dip. It’s my favorite.