Sunday, October 18, 2009

Letting it All Out – While Retaining Everything

Old MD Girl’s post about how one should maintain their composure and appear zen-like while interacting with patients at all times is inspiring this particular rant. I got a memo stating that admin is starting mandatory once a month round table discussions aimed at airing out the nursing staff’s frustrations or concerns. There’s some crap written about how those discussions can have the potential to positively benefit the entire staff because concerns can be dealt with as they come along. There’s also some other crap about how reflecting on our practice with staff at varying skill levels can improve our overall practice. My personal (ill-articulated) thought - suck it! I do not want to give up my precious break to sit awkwardly in front of some suits to talk about how much I hate the smell of C. diff in the morning. Nor do I want to talk about how irrationally angry I get when my latte doesn’t have the right proportion of espresso and milk because I’m nagging the barista to hurry up so I can make it to a meeting to talk about my ‘feelings’. I can understand the need for debriefing sessions after a particularly memorable or horrendous event but being forced to go every month to these ‘vent out your feelings sessions’ when I do just fine venting over great food with my friends is simply cruel. Not only that, the entire concept seems redundant to me because up until now, I thought monthly staff meetings and providing proof of competent practice to the provincial licensing body were for the very same purpose. No matter how stressed I am, I can guaran-damn-tee that I would find peace and quiet much more relaxing than having to restrain myself with politically correct language in front of power suited chumps.


Old MD Girl said...

Well, we probably ought to *try* to be composed in front of the patients..... What I was talking about is this idea that we should appear composed at ALL times. As it stands now, our degree of composure is measured only by time spent NOT in front of patients. Because, of course, my peers/supervisors don't see all/any of my actual patient interactions, rather only time spent *outside* their rooms.

If you have these debriefing sessions, I'd advise keeping the mouth shut even if you really really don't want to. If you can (sometimes I can't). HR tends to take notes from meetings like these, and this kind of information can and will get used against people they would like to terminate in the future.

I am very cynical.

But yes, taking time away from breaks SUCKS. So do meetings.

TorontoEmerg said...

I'm with you... I mean who wants to start disclosing all sorts of personal and/or professional frustrations to people you don't really trust or even like. The thought makes my skin crawl, a little, even if they are acting in good faith.

My hospital tried to substitute the lunch break for similar meetings, which backfired badly when we still took our lunches afterwards.

Richard said...


Given the popularity and prevalence of twitter, I put together a list of 50 different nurses on Twitter that you can follow to potentially get some insight on their medical lives. If you wouldn’t mind, could you share my list with your readers?

Here's the post:

Many thanks!

Guzzo said...

Maybe asking employees to "stir the pot" is their way of attempting to reduce overhead through employee attrition?

Maha said...

OMDG - I wasn't referring to maintaining a calm composure (which frankly is half the battle sometimes) but rather being forced to participate in activities that are relaxing, like meditating with a group. I'd much rather be alone with a good book and maintain some distance from work when I feel overwhelmed.

Blogging also helps to vent out frustrations so remaining calm is an incentive - get all the juicy details for blogging!

When my idiotic meetings start, I do not plan on saying anything beyond the standard crap about loving where I work. *shudders*

Old MD Girl said...

Yep. Mandatory meditation sessions would suck.

Anyway, I know you know to keep your mouth shut at these meetings. Consider it an admonition to MYSELF more than anything else. Meetings like that make me cranky.