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too much stimuli for one person?

When my coworker is out (and she is a dedicated, hardworking professional who deserves vacation etc), I am left alone to work at a very busy front desk of a hospital operating room. Phones are ringing off the hook from operating rooms, patients, patient families, other staff etc. People are coming to the front desk: patients, family members of patients, staff with a request. I find this too overwhelming to handle on my own. For example, a nurse called to get an appt time for a surgical patient and I had to ask her to call back in 15 minutes. There was just too much activity. I was prioritizing in my mind: getting patients checked in for surgery and addressing family concerns about their loved ones in the OR take precedence. My boss refuses to help me. If I were to approach another coworker for help, they would refuse, saying that they are not able to leave their post. When I worked there the other day I was very flustered with everything that was coming at me at once. While I was pleasant and professional to everyone, it was probably obvious to all that I was very flustered! I feel incompetent and embarrassed because I am not smooth!. I need your support and help.

Submitted by: Judith Probber


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You have done a very good job. I also worked in the Operating Room covering for three positions, but now those positions were filled up. What I did was, I did the best I could, do multifunction and prioritize. Marieta Santiago on 6/26/2013 10:49:55 PM
You have done a very good job. I also worked in the Operating Room covering for three positions, but now those positions were filled up. What I did was, I did the best I could, do multifunction and prioritize. Marieta Santiago on 6/26/2013 10:49:54 PM
You clearly demonstrate motivation. You now simply need patience and experience. Relax, you'll find the groove or rhythm. You're currently experiencing the battle shock and are overwhelmed by it. It will wear off. Anonymous on 6/18/2013 12:20:05 PM
Can there be an automated phone greeting? Something that communicates to the caller that their call will be addressed in the order in which it was received. We all hate those, but in the absence of resources to assist you, it's an alternative. I'm more concerned about your statement regarding your boss and co-workers. If they are all truly that unwilling to help, then your situation is critical. Try listing the issues, and next to each, your proposed solution. Then, list the negative outcomes if a solution is not reached. Share that with your boss, and if he/she doesn't agree with your proposed solutions, ask for guidance regarding better ones. It's just not fair that your co-worker is normally with you, and there's no support or back-up when she can't be there! That's not effective resource allocation. This gives me reservations about the effectiveness of our hospitals! As a patient, I hate to think that one flustered person can impact my situation. Yikes! Senior EA-Business Writer on 6/18/2013 10:05:39 AM
Activity revolving around the OR center is always challenging and busy. I am sure for one who does not normally handle this alone on a routine basis, it is overwhelming. Do you employ any PRN staff who could come help during this type of situation? I am sorry that your boss does not want to help with the solution to this issue. Is there someone next in line to whom you could turn? Anonymous on 6/18/2013 10:00:08 AM
Go to your boss (or HR/Risk Management) and let them know that you completely support your co-worker taking vacation (just as she would support you doing the same), but it has come to your attention that a temp or additional employee should be placed on the desk in your/her absence to assist with the demands of the post. YOUR PRIMARY CONCERN IS FOR THE ORGANIZATION AS YOU ARE ROUTINELY DEALING WITH CONFIDENTIAL PATIENT INFORMATION, HAVING CONFIDENTIAL PHONE CALLS CONVEYING PATIENT RELATED INFORMATION AND COMPUTERS HAVE PATIENT DATA UP ON THEM AND PATIENT NOTEBOOKS ARE OPEN, ETC....ULTIMATELY ALL CAN SEE AND HEAR AND THIS COULD BECOME A LEGAL/HIPAA ISSUE!!!! THAT will get their attention! If you had someone else on the desk to assist, you could cover each other and protect the privacy of the patients while delivering excellent service. Stacey Browning on 6/18/2013 9:58:24 AM
Having worked in a hospital setting fo rmany years; when I became stressed because of too much work overload we had a system whereby the Community Services (volunteer dept) would send someone up to help/assist me and take direction (instruction) from me when ever the need arose. This worked well and they were able to send me volunteers (retired) who previously worked in an office type setting. Being older had its advantages as it was a joy to have them (volunteers) around and they too would offer their suggestions of getting things done and organized. Hope this is somewhat helpful. Carol Carol McNamara on 6/18/2013 9:54:21 AM

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