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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The benefit of down time

One of the neat things about working for a small town hospital is you will have plenty of down time. During this down time I have seen nurses and respiratory therapists do an array of activities, such as play games, surf the net, Facebook, read, blog, and you name it.

Some people frown upon this and think that if you are on the job you should be working.  For instance, when you work for a restaurant and there is down time, you are expected to have a rag in your hand wiping down tables.

I don't see it that way.  I see down time as a benefit to the job.  I see down time as an opportunity to rest and prepare for those moments when you have to bust your but to get your work done.  I see it the same as I see health insurance and other benefits to working at a hospital.

Of course, the rule of thumb here is that you have to have all your work done before you can play.  Likewise, you cannot become so rapt in your play that you forget to check on patients who need checking on.  You must also not get so rapt in your work that you leave work for your replacement.

Still, I think of down time as good.  How bosses perceive down time varies from boss to boss.  Some are totally fine with down time, and they are fine with you taking advantage of it.  Others hate it and are always trying to find things for you to do.  Some are about half and half, okay with it but would prefer you find something to do.

This is one of the advantages of working night shift, because, so long as you get your work done, you can do whatever you want in your down time.  I have worked at some hospitals where the night shift workers take naps.  I'm not a fan of naps, although mainly because I like to be industrious with my time.

I think that's one of the main reasons I started writing medical blogs.  Here I am able to do something health related, something industrious, something useful.  Of course there are others who simply walk around and gossip or try to sell some kind of tonic to make your hair grow to their coworkers.

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