My meltdown? Coffee. No Coffee, actually.
My boss told me about the new ICU we needed to build. And that he needed someone to run it.
Turns out, he wanted me to run it.
I was overwhelmed at first. I couldn’t finish answering one question before another. And another person had another. We pulled nurses from all over the hospital to work and even more came from across the country.
Nurses from everywhere, learning to work together under intense pressure.
And we’re all scared.
I haven’t read many leadership books, but I could probably cite the central theme of most:
And that became my mantra, my clarion call. We’re a team. We’re anxious together, we cry together, we will get through this together. Nurses know how to interact with patients, they know how to be human, I just tried my best to re-center them, recenter myself to remember we were on the same team.
I remember my first meltdown. What was it about you ask?
No coffee, actually.
In these units where we had to wear coveralls, which means we were not allowed to eat, drink, or pee while being inside the ICU. Nothing. And it’s those little comfort things that make your life seem normal amongst the chaos.
Coffee reminded us of normalcy.
After my meltdown, I made it my mission to get a coffee machine set up outside the ICU.
In the middle of this time of constant change, we had something that brought us comfort. So much was changing minute to minute, so maintaining one simple routine habit made a difference.
Eventually, we found our way. Was it easy?
Could I do it again?
Depends on the team.
If I’ve got a team, sign me up.
Report Back Here at 6:30 AM TomorrowAmy Ott
It was my birthday in the midst of all this!