Beyond the clichés about teamwork are some hard facts that make baseball the perfect analogue to the nursing professions. Of course, some of them are a little on the funny side, but some serious lessons can be learned from baseball that also apply to nursing.
Sometimes you want to hit things with a bat
Well, sometimes you do. Most nurses would balk at hitting patients and family members with bats, but it would be really nice if there was a room that we could go to and just start swinging.
Most nurses would benefit from taking a bat and whacking various equipment doesn’t want to work, computers that freeze in the middle of charting, or the bed that breaks when there are none left in the hospital. In fact, going to a batting cage in real life can be cathartic.
It can take nine people to make things work
There are those shifts when you don’t have enough hands to spin all the plates in front of you. Yes, this is about teamwork, but it also emphasizes how many nurses it takes to make a tough shift work.
With short staffing, it is often difficult to have even four people, but eight to nine on a shift would be ideal. Just like a baseball team, it takes a group of people to make a nursing shift survivable.
Only your fans will cheer your homeruns
Nurses hit homeruns all the time, but not many people are around to cheer. Those you work with, though – your fans – will know the homeruns you hit, and applaud.
Sometimes nurses go unappreciated for the good things they do, or their good works get lost in the shuffle of so much else that’s going on. The thing is to take pride when you hit a homerun during your shift, no matter who is applauding you.
You have to step up to the plate every time
When the BM hits the fan, you have to step up to the plate, deal with the situation, and get the job done. Much like in baseball, when your team needs a hit, it’s your job to get those runners in.
You may be called to step up to the plate in an emergency, but it is far more likely that you do so during the natural course of your shift. Stepping up to the plate means taking responsibility and getting the job done, and that’s what nursing is all about.
You need a ton of balls
Yes, a professional baseball game uses an inordinate amount of baseballs, but those aren’t the type you need to be a good nurse. You need to have the confidence, the assertiveness, and the fearlessness that comes with the colloquial saying of ballsy.
When you are willing to take responsibility for your patient, you may find that it is scary and difficult, especially if you are a new nurse. Having the balls to question a doctor, step into a code, or confront a family member is one of the most important things nurses do in the course of their jobs.