Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

My happy place is on a beach. When I was young, every year my dad would pile us in the car and take us “down the Ocean” for a week’s vacation. Which is Baltimore “speak” for going to Ocean City, MD.

I still remember the smell of the salt water as we crossed the 50th Street bridge into Ocean City. My dad would have us roll down the windows (aging myself, aren’t I?) and take a big inhale. Oh, how excited we would get, knowing sand, sun, the boardwalk and Thrasher’s french fries awaited our near future. 

I remember the smell of Coppertone sunscreen mixed with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a favorite “down at the ocean” lunch. 

But I also remember the seagulls. In both good and bad ways. I love the call of the seagulls. To this day, it relaxes me. If I play a recording of seagulls with ocean waves, I can just close my eyes and relive the sweet summers of my childhood and remember my happy place and being able to spend time with my dad.  

But I also must confess, I am a seagull poop magnet. My older sister thought it was hysterical to throw out some of her sandwich to the gulls. (NEVER feed seagulls people, never!) They would swoop down, grab a piece of sandwich and directly and immediately swoop in and poop on me. Like, literally, no one else on a beach of thousands of people. Just me.

And now it gets me thinking. Are any of us seagull managers? You know, swoop in, leave a few droppings and fly out? Cause I have to say, in my career, I have been pooped on by a seagull manager or two. (I still have PTSD from one past corporate nurse who, whenever she swooped in, I pretty much pooped myself!)

But we can be the happy place seagull managers. Did you know seagulls, according to scientific research, are intelligent birds and are learning all the time? That is what we, as managers, should always be. 

Furthermore, once seagulls have learned something useful, they remember it and will pass on behavior patterns. Now that’s the Coppertone, warm sand, ocean wave, peanut butter and jelly sandwich manager I aspire to be. No pooping on anyone!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates. 

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.