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Don't Take Shit Off of Anybody

If there is one thing I have learned during my time as a nurse, it's this: Teamwork is essential. Don't get me wrong, I have always been more of an autonomous person and I'd much prefer to be by myself snuggled up with a book than in a crowd or at a party. But when it comes to environments like healthcare, it truly does take a team approach to look after people and reach positive outcomes.

AND, if there is one thing I have found that I can't stand, it's arrogance. If you are oblivious enough to walk around with the attitude you can do no wrong and will never make mistakes, sorry to say, YOU are wrong. EVERYBODY, and I mean EVERYBODY is capable of making mistakes. We are human, and it comes with the territory. It also drives me absolutely insane when people are shown a different level of respect based on their role within a team. And I think that working through an unprecedented and stressful time, like a global pandemic, can cause things to skew a bit in the wrong direction.

So, for those of you who are currently feeling burnt out and at their wits end, I am here to remind you of something and share the most important advice I have ever received: Don't Take Shit Off of Anybody. Every role in a team is essential to reaching an end goal. And I'll give you an example.

When people think of hospitals, they generally think of doctors and nurses, busily working away at saving people's lives. But the team is much larger than those two roles. Social Work, Dietitians, SLP, PT, OT and countless other disciplines ensure that all of the patients' needs are being met (and that goes well beyond their pulse and blood pressure). If environmental services isn't keeping the rooms cleaned and garbage removed, nurses and doctors can not do their job. If maintenance isn't keeping the lights on and oxygen flowing, we'd be screwed. And not to mention all of the behind the scenes staff that the public doesn't see; human resources, IT, payroll and occ health.... without them, there would be no staff in the building to provide care at all. And let's not forget our volunteers. Who donate their time, out of pure goodness, to help their community. All of these roles, and the people who fill them, are ESSENTIAL. And no role is more important than another. It is a team for a reason. It takes everyone doing their part to ensure positive outcomes. And this means that everyone deserves the same amount of respect within the team and between team members. If you wouldn't tear a strip off a doctor, you certainly should not be yelling at a volunteer.

And this same basic understanding can be transferred to any line of work. Retail, truck drivers, waste management, emergency response, farmers, media, education.... everyone has their role in this mess of a world. And no one should have to take shit off of anybody. CEO all the way to minimum wage workers, your role is important. Without the truck driver driving through the night to bring the product to the store, the CEO would not have sales to present to stake holders.

So to all of you out there who are dreading going to work, who feel like nothing you do is good enough right now, remember this: If you are showing up and doing the best you can with what you have to work with, don't take no shit off anybody. You are a rock star. And what you do matters. You are enough.

Love, Kay


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