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9 Comments

  • Dan Weberg
    Dan Weberg

    September 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I love your post but think that “MANAGE CHAOS” is the wrong word. From the description you gave, the ED nurses are thriving in chaos. No one can manage chaos as that would be telling the chaos what to do. What ED nurses do is use the chaos to their advantage. They self-organize around problems, and innovation in problem solving thrives. This phenomena is called Complexity theory or Complex Adaptive Systems. We as ED nurses are thriving on the energy of chaos swirling around us. Take a step back and watch as the nurses swarm, like bees, from problem to problem solving it and quickly adapting and moving on. 2 sick calls, allows the bond to become stronger among the workers, creating energy that is used to save lives, deal with change, and overcome adversity. ED nurses don’t manage chaos, ED nurses do not survive without it. The power is unleashed in the worst of times.

    Dan Weberg
    I am a PhD student in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation at Arizona State University. I am also a Certified Emergency Nurse and Trauma Nurse.


  • runningwildly
    runningwildly

    September 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    What an awesome post. I have goosebumps!
    I worked in emerg this past summer, fell in love only to go back in just a matter of months. I will be a critically care educated RN next year and I simply can’t wait. Your post put into words exactly what we feel as we run around on the ER floor. Brilliantly put.


  • NPs Save Lives
    NPs Save Lives

    September 28, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    You are so right. I also have to agree with what Dan Weberg said about not managing chaos because we just hang on for the ride and try to make the best of a bad situation. ER nurses are Pros at that.


  • Dr. Cason
    Dr. Cason

    September 29, 2008 at 2:49 am

    You all are heroes!

    I felt nauseous after my ER shifts. I readily admit that I couldn’t handle the stress of not knowing what might come in.

    I’d hear the charts start coming in and I would groan. God bless you all for loving that job! Someone has to do it. 🙂


  • Strong One
    Strong One

    September 29, 2008 at 3:27 am

    HOORAH Kim.
    Thanks for that healthy dose of reality.
    I like to call it ‘controlled’ chaos. *wink*wink*


  • Healthcare Today
    Healthcare Today

    September 29, 2008 at 4:31 am

    “We Manage Chaos” // Emergiblog…

    Kim’s big adventure continues at the ENA conference. Mary Tyler Moore would be proud! Read her post!…


  • Candy
    Candy

    September 29, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Well put (now I have to find different words!). I’m NOT an ER nurse, but I felt proud to be surrounded by them (and next to you) at the conference listening to Major White. You guys rock!


  • Anthony Phipps
    Anthony Phipps

    September 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Kim,

    It was a joy having you at the conference and reading your posts. Keep up the great work, you are a wonderfully vibrant voice for ED nurses, a voice that needs to be heard as often as possible.

    Tony


  • Up To No Good
    Up To No Good

    October 4, 2008 at 5:04 am

    This totally gave me chills.


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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