Jacke Vance

Have you ever watched the Masters golf tournament? You know, the guys playing golf in Georgia, trying to grab the green jacket? I think you all know I love a good analogy (not as much as a good cup of coffee, but it’s close).

So, if you do watch golf, you’ll notice that from novice to experienced golfer, they depend a great deal on the caddie. The caddie is the one to pull out the clubs, meaning, “I’ll give you the tools you need to do your job, from education to mechanical lifts to electronic health care records.” They hold the umbrella over the golfer, protecting them in inclement weather, meaning, “I take care of my team.” They wear the golfer’s name on the back of their shirt, meaning, “I’ve got your back!”

When they get to the 18th hole, they know that the caddie is right there with them, the caddie asking, “You want the 7-iron … the 9-iron?” on up to the putter? Silently cheering on “their” golf pro: You’ve got this, you can do this.

In other words, it helps no one if you rip the club out of the golfer’s hand and say, “I can do this better.” Yes, control freaks and new nurse managers, I am speaking directly to you! Sometimes the golfer will come in over par, sometimes at par and sometimes under par. But the thing is, the more they do it with the support of their caddie, the better they get at it.

So be the caddie, and not necessarily the pro (only in this manner of speaking, of course — you always need to be a pro with your caregiving conduct). You’ll have a much stronger team — and likely “shoot under par” if you do!

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.