Friday, May 28, 2010

Running The Asylum

Starting next week, that’s what I’ll be doing on Saturdays.

I was one of 28 people being considered for four supervisory positions within Cataldo/Atlantic. Yesterday I was offered one a of the positions within the Boston division, which I accepted. It’s actually a part-time supervisory slot: I will continue to work my normal Wednesday tour on Newton Medic Two and I will be the division supervisor on Saturday. That means I’ll be coming off of Medic One on Saturdays, but I will at least have contact with all of the crews working both in Boston and in Newton. Plus, as it is a part-time (sort of) slot I’ll still have a regular clinical shift.

During this coming week there will be orientation for the four of us who were promoted. I don’t quite know what it consists of, but I’m certain I will find out. I’m thinking it involves some classroom time in Malden plus some familiarization with what is in Roslindale operations, as that is where I believe I will be posted. It is also a 16-hour day as opposed to a 24-hour day. I imagine I will try to make up the 8 hours that I’m going to lose somewhere, but that is something I will need to look into.

It’s pretty funny how it all came about, too. It all started because of the problems within both Massachusetts and New Hampshire regarding EMS provider licensing and refresher training. The Boston Globe reported on it in this story, and there has been a considerable amount of follow-up that has also been published. That, in itself, will be material for an upcoming future post that will be happening very soon, in fact. But I digress…

Because of this situation, a number of positions opened up due to people caught up in it, including supervisory slots. The part-time slot was originally held by my former Wednesday partner. He is now a full-time supervisor during the week, and his slot became available. And a considerable number of people I work with approached me and asked me if I was interested.

This, in itself, was a sign. I mean – seriously – this was the second time I’d been approached about becoming part of the management team. The first was actually almost a year ago. By the manager I work for. I just didn’t think I was ready at that time because of my return off of an injury. Plus I didn’t know what was coming up, and I definitely wouldn’t have been ready if I’d tried when Newton went live. And as I thought about it more, I figured that it was time. So I expressed my interest and was interviewed at the end of last week. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Truly I never expected to be offered the slot. I really thought people were just being nice. That said, for senior management to place confidence and trust in the likes of me is, to be honest, a bit humbling.

There are a couple of things that I know and will keep in mind as I approach doing this job. One is that to lead well you have to not expect people to do things you wouldn’t do yourself. Another is that the people that you’re expected to lead/supervise/manage are people that you are actually serving by virtue of the position you’re in. And this makes sense, if you think about it. The EMT’s and medics that are working on the road are directly in contact with patients. And they’re the ones who are getting things done. So to help them when they need it by providing them with whatever support they require is, in effect, serving them.

Of course there is the other half of this job: being a disciplinarian when necessary. That comes with the territory, and if it needs to be done it will be.

All things considered, though, I will do everything I can to make sure that trust was not misplaced. And I’ll do my best to do the job right.


TOTWTYTR said...

From what I'm seeing, a lot of the younger and medics need supervision. Specifically, they need it from older, more experienced, more mature medics. Ones who can provide the needed guidance to keep them from making silly mistakes.

Not so much in the fairly straightforward medical part, but in the far more complex people skills part.

Your maturity is why they picked you, not the length of your tenure.

Leigh said...

Congratulations Walt! I agree with TOTWTYTR, maturity is the key and from your writing, I can tell you have it. :)


medic999 said...

Congratulations on your promotion Walt.

Sorry its taken so long to get round to posting a comment.

Its going to be an interesting time for you and I for one am looking forward to reading your perspective on your new role.

Anonymous said...

Second Saturday at the helm! Hope its going well and you are enjoying your new position of authority. Sometimes it more hassle than its worth, especially if there is a lot of paperwork that must be done. But I'm sure you are up to the task.