More Work Boundaries..."I'm not going to do the nurse's work anymore."
March 3 ,2021
Yet another story from a My First 24 surgeon who gave me permission to share….
“Our nurse has been out on an extended leave for 6 months and [our organization] has put next to 0 effort into finding a replacement. She does the testing for my patients before surgery.
I had been coming in on my day off and doing the nurse’s work. And so I documented it with a formal e-mail. I said, “I’m no longer coming in on my day off to do [name of nurse]’s testing. Those patients are going to wait until she comes back or you find a replacement.”
So I set a boundary.
And it feels good but it is hard for me is because of the patients. Right now we have 9 patients on the wait list for testing. Our daily average adding to that list is 1-2 patients every day. She’s not due back until June!
I went into medicine to help people. So that’s hard. But right now that’s a boundary.”
Me: You’re assuming that this boundary you’re drawing is going to make life worse for your patients. That is an easy assumption to make. But, it is an assumption. And the question is, is it better for your patients if you don’t draw this boundary? Is it better if they don’t have to wait and you go in tomorrow on your day off and do their testing yourself and then in another month or two you get super burnt out? Or if you say, “I’m fed up with this I’m leaving”?
Surgeon shakes her head.
Me: That is not better. You taking care of yourself is actually better for them in the long run.
Surgeon: “Yes. I know that conceptually but I don’t quite feel it in my heart. But then, a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t draw these boundaries in the first place! So I think I can get there.”
Me: Right. You didn’t have the self-confidence. You were a different person back then. Somebody who hadn’t drawn boundaries at work, who was scared, and didn’t know that they could feel all the discomfort and still be fine. And who could decide to say no and then follow through.
Surgeon: I’m going to write this down and brainstorm some new beliefs that I can have instead of this assumption that their life is going to be worse because I’m not going in on my day off to do this testing.”
And our session continued and she did come up with all kinds of amazing beliefs that she actually does have that are truths for her that show that drawing this boundary was the right thing for her. And that there are other ways to serve her patients and do surgeries and have experiences that are even more fulfilling for her in the meantime while she waits for her nurse to come back.
We had a lovely coaching session… I hope you’re getting the picture reading these experiences. Docs in this program are experiencing life differently than they were before. They’re turning into different people. They’re empowered. They’re brave. They’re connected. They’re present. They’re self-confident. And so much more.
You can have the life you want too. I can show you how. AND I can give you CME credit!