Don’t make me turn this Operating Room Around!
Yes, I have actually said this.
I did so in a kidding manner, but when I did, I truly felt it.
I am sure that there are times where you may have felt this way as well. It may be due to staff needing so much of your time you can’t get anything done. It may be because you feel like you are having to remind staff to do things that you had expected, or that you have some staff that aren’t the team players you need them to be.
It can be a drain on energy, time, emotions, and definitely the positive culture we all want.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, and have made many mistakes, but thought I would share some ideas that have worked.
If someone challenges a decision, put it out there.
Open it up to the group for discussion. As an example, if a staff member says that they don’t understand the late day coverage, hold a staff meeting to address the issue with everybody. You may find that the staff offers great suggestions to improve the plan, and you will definitely get better buy in. Plus, if the staff member who had an issue had any type of agenda, you’ve just diffused it. I once played a game where we “staffed” a pretend new center (amazingly) similar to ours. The real goal was to address some concerns one of the nurses had been complaining about to peers about staffing. Not only did we come up with some great ideas, it diffused the negative nurse who had been stirring up the negativity.
Establish clear expectations.
If the staff is leaving without getting everything done, spell out what isn’t. As much as we believe that the expectations are clear, if things are not getting done, the tasks may not be as defined as we think. Once defined (ie: put the sterilizer on standby, make sure all instruments are wrapped), address performance if the problem continues.
They’re a good nurse/tech, but….
You know them. Those staff who subtly circumvent authority, only shares information with some, bad mouths others, and loves to save the day. They tend to establish informal hierarchies with staff and/or leadership which negatively impacts the whole team. Have an honest conversation with your leadership team about it, come up with an action plan, then spell out concrete expectations with the staff member. Make sure that you have a leadership ally as a witness and stick to the plan when new issues arise.
Subject matter experts
For those that may love to quote their interpretation of the rules or how they have always done it, encourage them to find the regulatory information. If they can’t find it in the regs or Google it, they may be less inclined to offer up those sacred cows later. If they can, the facility can make changes to make sure they are compliant.
Hopefully, your leadership bus can continue down its positive direction with few detours.