Managerial Inaction

skilled-communication-nursingI don’t know about you, but I hate inaction, especially managerial inaction.

As nurses, we’re the first line of defense, diligently working with our patients and choreographing their action plans with all the members of the healthcare team.

And because of this, we know what works and what doesn’t.

Hospital management, nonetheless, often ignores us and our ideas, often pursuing whimsical fantasies and snobbishly choosing fiction over fact.

Instead of acting on our ideas, they enact their own.

Generally, as they dictate impractical policy from their comfortable corner offices, they placate us with magical surveys, self-congratulatory platitudes, and small knickknacks.

And instead of using us as a resource, they often ignore our professional expertise and analysis, believing, I guess, that they know more than we do.

Usually, we don’t interact with decision makers, as we seldom hob knob with Chief Executives and their heir apparent under bosses.

Typically, our time to discuss policy is allocated to the almighty staff meeting, a most unworthy pursuit.

In staff meetings, or staph infections, as I like to call them, we’re encouraged to bring forth our concerns, ask questions, and provide our supervisors and/or managers with feedback vis-à-vis policies, procedures, and problems; nevertheless, whilst providing useful feedback, our mouths are typically muted with bureaucratic red tape and clichés mixed with false promises, praise and accolades.

And if our voices are (supposedly) heard, our immediate supervisors assure us that the appropriate manager or executive will be notified via the proper chain of command.

They assure us, essentially, that we will be heard some way, somehow and somewhere.

Instead of acting as a catalyst for change, they’ve enacted managerial inaction, thwarting progress and stabilizing the status quo.

Normally, this is how inaction takes place:

We enter the staph infection → we have an idea → our supervisor chews on it → someone agrees → the supervisor acknowledges the idea, validating it → the manager suggests that he/she will take it up at his/her next executive staph infection → we leave the staph infection → we never see or hear of the idea again.  And, typically, if the idea does come to fruition, it will ascend as someone else’s, not yours.

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