Written by: Elise Buikema, RN | Chicago, IL
To be a Mobile Anesthesiologists nurse is to assume the role of taking responsibility for the overall workflow, efficiency, safety, and wellbeing of our patients, clients, colleagues, and organization. We have the unique opportunity to create our own work environment each day as a place where all patients receive the best possible care, and where staff and clients are supported and professionally satisfied. It is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Inpatient to Outpatient
The majority of our nurses come from the critical care inpatient setting and have the background, education, and experience of caring for people in their most vulnerable state (after an emergency or life-threatening illness). We come to the outpatient private practice setting seeking refuge from the chaotic, constraining, politically charged, and often physically and emotionally draining environment that the hospital critical care units from which we came from operate under.
Although in the outpatient anesthesia setting we are not caring for acutely ill patients daily, patient focus and safety is number 1. Every day we are evaluating each clinical scenario for safety while anticipating and preparing for the worst-case scenario. Along with our RN and MD colleagues, we are assessing each patient and situation to ensure overall safety as well as setting the team up for success and confirming the environment to be as comfortable as possible. We are armed with our knowledge and experience to handle any anesthesia issue or emergency that may arise.
Many patients describe feeling very anxious about the loss of control and memory while under anesthesia, and we have the opportunity to care for them and relieve their anxiety and stress while in this very vulnerable state. It is our privilege to establish patient trust by providing a very thorough explanation of each step that they will encounter throughout their stay in the office, as well as the specifics of what they will experience and feel as they go under anesthesia, and what recovery will be like. With the support of our colleagues, we are given the opportunity to take lead and manage the patient relationship and are given a voice within the organization. Even though it is an outpatient setting and our time with each patient is limited, we are still able to feel the positive effects of building that nurse-patient relationship and are able to make a difference in their experience.
Colleagues & Culture
As a nurse within Mobile Anesthesiologists, we have the opportunity to work alongside colleagues that we know very well. The nursing staff acts as a family and we treat each other as such. We take time to build relationships and ensure that the physicians we are working alongside have exactly what they need. Of course our nursing critical thinking skills are invaluable and it’s vital for our physicians to have an extra set of highly trained hands; but we offer much more than setup, pre-op, emergency preparedness, and recovery duties. Our physicians know that we have their back in any situation that may arise and can feel confident that they are always supported. In addition to managing physician relationships, each client office and environment comes with its own unique challenges. Our nurses adjust and adapt to each environment and offer full support to our physicians as needed. The collaboration, adaptability, and trust that our colleagues will always keep safety and efficiency at the forefront is what sets our team apart.
As a Mobile nurse we must also have the needs of our clients in mind. We work first and foremost to ensure a safe and satisfying experience for our patients; but we must also oblige our clients. As we are invited into our client offices, we have a duty to ensure that client staff and surgeons are satisfied by keeping the daily flow safe and efficient. It is our job to set the stage and positive tone for the day to make everyone involved as comfortable as possible. We connect and work alongside client staff members from the receptionist to the scheduler to the surgeon. We want each client to look forward to Mobile coming into the office each day creating a positive, fun, safe, and efficient atmosphere in which to care for each patient most effectively.
Our nurses provide a value that patients and staff do not have access to in the inpatient setting and is incredibly difficult to find in the outpatient setting. When we are allowed and expected to be autonomous and innovative we feel valued and trusted and in turn show up each day to provide unmatched care to patients, clients, and colleagues which is precisely how we best care for our organization.
In today’s healthcare climate, as inpatient costs increase, there is a shift towards the outpatient setting. Mobile as an organization knows that nurses are a key piece to the changing climate of healthcare. Nurses are given a voice, treated as innovators, and pushed to help drive the force of our organization along with the shifts in healthcare. We see nurses for who they are and not only invite them into the conversations; but we expect them to participate in high level dialogue knowing that if we keep our hand on the pulse at the bedside, our patients, colleagues, clients, and organization will always win.