Communication: Then and Now

By Barbara Greer posted 04-14-2020 12:24

Communication has always been an issue in almost every facet of our daily lives, especially in the hospital setting...and today with the internet and social media, there are even more forms of communication.

I remember when I first became a nursing director for our Level IV NICU back in 1989.  There was no internet, emails, etc.  In order to schedule a meeting, I either had to pick up the phone and call the other person or persons and see if they were available at the desired time...or my secretary had to do it.  This could take a whole day depending on how many people were needed at the meeting.  Now, you simply proxy schedules... and in a matter of minutes, a meeting is scheduled.  All paperwork, such as FTE requests, budget requests, purchase orders, policy and procedures had to be done on paper and then put into a big yellow envelope and then send to, what we called "The Intergalactic Mail" (an appropriate name, because many times it was "lost in space!")  Today, all of that is done on-line, and automatically goes on to the next person in the chain of command for signatures...often taking a day or two rather than up to a couple of weeks. can go on-line and see where it is in the process and if someone is "sitting on it!" 

If I needed a simple question answered back then, I had to call the other person, leave a message and wait for a return call - hoping that we would both connect at some point on the phone...or maybe I would see them at one of the numerous meetings I attended throughout the day.  Now, a simple email or text and the communication would happen.   Ahhh...the internet has definitely saved time!

Back then, when I got my twice daily stack of yellow "intergalactic envelopes," I would sit at my desk and put them into three categories...1. One that could be taken care of immediately, put back in the envelope and sent on to the next person.  2. One that needed some additional research or work on my part and would go in to my "to do" pile.  3. And the last category... the trash!  As an OCD person...I was quite happy with this method...until I took my first two week vacation after I became the NICU Director...

Stay tuned for the "rest of the story!"
1 comment



04-15-2020 13:57

I love this Barbara!