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From Saving Lives To Saving Quality of Lives.

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

Career Transition, Nurse To Coach.

It’s night shift at the hospital’s medical-surgical floor. I’ve given out all of my evening medications and am now making one more round to make sure the patients are tucked in and comfortable before bedtime.

As I make my way to the sweet, not-so-little Italian lady’s room, “Hi Fran! Ready for bed?” I call her name again. No response. Odd…her face has a grayish hue to it and she starts drooling.


...her eyes already closed as she is sitting up in her bed.

Bad sign - nurse intuition and adrenaline kick in.

I grab the nearest phone and call for assistance from the rapid response team, while at the same time gesturing to my surrounding co-workers to get help.

I run back in the room and … nothing.

She’s unresponsive and drooping.

No pulse.

Mine is racing. Quickly, I jump into fast, strategic action. Lay her flat, raise the bed, place the CPR board under her upper back, jump on the bed next to her (I’m short, no way I could do good compressions from the floor, duh) and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5….30… The rapid response team arrives and takes over. We brought her back to life in under 2 minutes.

I will never forget that first code.

To be able to have such power in your hands so as to literally restart someone’s heartbeat is empowering and exhilarating, to say the least.

Fast forward 6 years, to the current day. I’m at my 6th job from the past 10 years. Every 2 years, almost on the DOT, I have this strong urge to switch things up, (this looks terrible on resumes when applying for jobs by the way). Luckily for me, no-one noticed the pattern and I got every single job I applied to. I was an interview PRO.

The Obedient Servant.

But back to my original point, I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I knew it on a subconscious level. I’ve done it all, worked in the icu, with adults, with kids and babies, rehab, post-op, pre-op, post-partum, with newborns, outpatient clinic work, etc. And, I realized, 9 years into my nursing profession, I was bored. And even more than that, I was frustrated, annoyed, and pissed off even! I was an awesome nurse, still am, my coworkers loved me, my patients always asked for me and I was the perfect servant to all the managers and bosses I’ve worked for. That’s when I really flipped the switch.

I was a servant. I had visions, ideas on how to improve the workplace, but my hands were tied. One little me could not make any real changes but just feel helpless. Because while nursing care could be great to patients, the care of nurses themselves was and still is, at best negligible in enough organizations to count. Sure, we get paid well, but the bigger the organization is, the farther away the CEO’s original intent, no matter how noble it may be, is from the “little people.” Can’t help but feel like just a number and money-making machine, but not in the good kind of way. In the way that the more work they give us, no matter how overwhelmed we feel, the more money we make for the hospital and into the pockets of those in charge.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this as a big complaint post about how unfairly nurses are treated. Just wanted to paint the picture for you. Those big CEO’s worked very hard to get where they are. It’s just more than obvious that there is no connection between the two. The hospital culture among staff is twisted, for lack of a better term.

Pity Party for the Little People

What really was bugging me was the lack of the quality connection and emotional support for our patients on the floors, because staffing is not where it needs to be. Sure, Tiffany, life is made of rainbows and unicorns. HA! Fine, not everything could be perfect. That’s fair, I get it. And, that’s why I’m not delusional and think I can change the whole hospital culture all by myself, overnight. This is about my personal journey, which I’m sure many can relate. Especially those working for large organizations, never being shown appreciation or even sincere acknowledgment for their work and existence even. Sure, we get little gifts for nurses week, but lets be honest here, those are pity gifts. Here, little boys and girls, you’ve been so nice this year here’s a candy and a swell umbrella for all your hard work and dedication! Woopy! Right.

So, as I started transitioning into the coaching field, I realized it wasn’t much different than the nursing work I performed, just so much more focused on 1 on 1 care, very personalized and extremely gratifying and with full autonomy. I may have saved that large, Italian lady’s life for 2 days (she unfortunately couldn’t hold on any longer past that) but as I coached more and more people, most of them for free in the beginning, I realized, their lives would never be the same again.

How many of you have had anyone come to you and ask, what are your goals, what are you working on right now, what are your challenges, what would you like your life to be like in the next 5, 10, 20 years from today? Imagine getting that kind of focused attention just on YOU??? Now that’s rare, most of us don’t even get that from our closest friends or family.

The Walking Dead

In many ways, if we don’t follow our intuition and calling in life, our heart slows down, and like the well-rounded, Italian lady’s heart, it flat-lines, as we are still walking. Like living corpses, going from day to day in automatic activity. No ambitions, no plans, no goals to achieve, just like the walking dead..

My point here, really, is that if you’re like I was, stuck in a job or life situation you feel unhappy in, making no progress and really feel like you could make a bigger difference in the world, ask yourself: what’s stopping me? What is that brick wall made of that isn’t letting me move forward and really let me place myself into the role I am meant to fulfill on this earth? What is it? Is it money? Is it location? Is it lack of confidence? Lack of time? And then listen. Listen to what your mind comes up with. I’m serious! Pretend you’re a spectator watching the World Cup, what’s the narrator saying???

Chances are, it’s your scared self. You’re the one standing in the way of your dreams. Not to sound totally preachy here, but this was my big AHA moment: that day I was running ten minutes late for work, almost in a panic that someone will yell at me or “punish me.” I placed myself in this situation and pretended I had no control. Well guess what, it’s time to grow up, put the big girl or boy pants on and take responsibility for the outcomes of our lives. Sure, I temporarily saved some lives, but the changes I can now make with individuals are lasting, because for once I let myself follow my own intuition and natural abilities. And YOU can do the same, I know it.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

Find your passion. Share it with others. Change the world.


Tiffany Olson.

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