Scrubs vs Suits: Which Team Do You Play For?

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People say, you can tell a lot about a person by their experiences. When I worked as a patient care technician, back when I was in Illinois, I can’t help but remember the many nights of gossip within the workplace. Co-workers and other staff members telling me this…telling me that; stories after stories about different happenings. And till this day, I am still inspired by someone. Of course, I’ll tell you why, eventually. I promise, I’ll try to keep it short.

Once upon a time, before my era as a tech, there was a nurse manager running the med-surg unit. She was smart, she was tough, and she didn’t care much for bs.

After countless months and efforts, she began to get weary of all the bureaucracy, the administrative side of things, and the pretentious monotony of paperwork, meetings, etc. The bane of medicine. After all, at the end of the day, healthcare is a business too.

She would get calls in the middle of the night that disturbed the peace, in her own home. She would constantly get annoyed, by colleagues who couldn’t complete a simple task. And more importantly, she got fed up with having to choose between going to useless administrative meetings vs offering her helping hand on the unit. Everyday, her people fell; swamped, flooded in tasks.

And yet, going back to the “talk” on the floor…EVERYONE LOVED HER. Her people LOVED HER. I forever had staff members tell me that “she was the best manager on the floor…we need her back…things were much better when she was doing the job.”

Back to the present…

Vertical Violence. You’ve read it in your textbooks. You know what I’m talking about. “Eat their young,” etc.

Just the other day, I was in an argument with a few of my bosses. I won’t lie to you. I probably jeopardized my career, a little. I’m probably now on their “crap list,” if there is one. Hell, I’m stubborn. I won’t back down. I’m a feisty little fella and speak my mind, when it’s necessary. The team and I were constantly getting bashed on, by management. That was the talk amongst us. It was an endless broken record of “You need to start doing this…start doing that…no more of that.” And yet, management over-looked the fact that we were all…simply drowning, day in and day out.

I suggested the idea that it would be nice if they could modify the time of their tasks, just a little bit, in order to help us out on the floor. But, in the end, I basically got lit up, as if their jobs were much more important. If patient-centered care is supposedly “top priority,” then where is everyone at?

Nevertheless, deep down, I knew I started a revolution. Big brother may be on my case now, but it needed to be said.

So, I leave you here today with a quote…

“A leader is not an administrator that loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people.”- Robert Townsend

Which team do you play for? For me, I’m obviously on the scrubs side of things, right now. But, inevitably I want to work my way up to a position of leadership. And I can’t speak for my future self. My views may drastically change.

Choose wisely.



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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