Committees

  1. For some unknown reason, I volunteered to be on the pt Safety Committee. Our QA gal, who heads the committee, sent me the minutes of the last meeting. I think she's really glad I'm on the committee because our whole hospital was in an absolute uproar last summer (small town hospital), and I was pretty vocal to her in my dissatisfaction and was making noises about leaving. Anyways, from the appearence of the minutes it sounds like it's going to be bunch of annoying JCAHO stuff.

    The cause of the uproar is our chief nursing officer, who is a hysterical control freak who has alienated the entire nursing staff, and has driven away every manager (except for mine, God bless her), in some cases several for each dept, he's incredibly difficult to work for. Anyways, he's on the committee too, of course she didn't mention that originally since she knows how loathed he is. He's so bad that when I went to a cardiac nursing ed thing, a nurse found out where I was from and went on a 20 minute diatrabe about this director of nursing, and how hated he was at his last place of employment.

    Anyways, I'm trying to be more of a comformist, that's my goal for this upcoming year. It will be good for me spiritually and it's high time I started being more mainstream. Anyone have any experience on committees? Should I just keep my mouth shut?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   OC_An Khe
    Committee can be a potentially useful venue for change and to get staff nursings input into change. The operative word is potential because it depends on how th committee is run and actually how much power it has to effect change.
    Get a feel for the committee and membership before getting into subjects that may be difficult. And yes JACHO stuff will ptobably be involved in any safety committee but JACHO isn't neccessarily bad by definition.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    Just imagine what if there was no JCAHO? No AHCA? No regulation of any hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics?

    Yeah, we gripe about the paperwork mess that we get bogged down in. But believe me, I worked in facilities before rules and regs, before JCAHO, and I can tell you, it was not pretty, the things I saw that were done to cut costs.

    So OK, they've maybe gone too deep with the paperwork but it IS safer for the patients, by and large.

    To me, patient safety would have to do with things like, keeping falls to a minimum, working with pharmacy and nursing to protect patients from med errors, and even something as simple as transporting a tele patient with or without a nurse and/or a monitor.

    I would be looking at ways to streamline processes that would create a safer environment for patients, visitors, and staff.

    Since you have a very difficult person heading up the committee, I'd shut up and nod and smile a lot, because JCAHO regs will largely dictate what gets done. This person does not sound like an innovator and also sounds overwhelmed, way over his head, and will probably not take risks. Sounds like he'd prefer to second-guess than to truly lead.

    A lotta that going around nowadays, and it's a shame. But all facilities want people who are going to shut up and save money.

    In the meantime, you can gain experience with this process. Parts of it will seem senseless, and other parts will seem wise. Approach it as a learning experience and you'll be OK.
  5. by   Tweety
    My motto is "you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them, known when to walk away and know when to run".

    In other words, I choose my battles. If it's something that's disruptive to my soul, I'm not going to conform and I'm going to speak up.

    I can't constantly buck the system and have to have some peace with their system that they pay me to work in. So in many cases I'll conform. I too have zero respect for my VP of Nursing. I respect however his position, not him as a person, and realize his authority and power and I sometimes I just have to conform and do what he says. I've been in meetings with him where I've just taken a deep breath, relaxed in my seat and accepted that this wasn't a battle that was worth it to me.

    The Serenity Prayer in my sig line helps as well.
  6. by   wjf00
    Quote from GardenDove
    Anyone have any experience on committees? Should I just keep my mouth shut?
    Good for you being involved! Speak up, don't be silent.
    I am somewhat of a committee person myself, 3 committees included chair on one committee. Be a participant. Pick an interest you have and add it to the agenda. Bring studies, and evidence to back up your position. Try to reach a consensus. Identify the responsible Department head. Most important develope a workable action plan. This often involves trial and error and multiple follow ups. On committees I have been on, we schedule a follow up meeting with the responsible manager and get a report on progress or lack of same. Then we tweek or revamp and schedule another follow up. It is a process, but it is very effective for getting changes.
  7. by   jimthorp
    I'm not an outright comformist, never have been. Generally speaking, I willingly comform only to things that are within my belief system, otherwise I push for change.

    In healthcare two conditions must be met for my willing conformance...benefit to the patient and efficient use of nursing time.

    In my experience, mostly outside of healthcare, the suits understand one language...$$. With regard to retaining staff, if someone could put the cost of recruitment, training, and other factors related to high turnover verses the cost of doing what it takes to have low staff turnover, I'm certain the later would cost less. Until that can be done things will remain status quo.

    So to answer your question...be a patient advocate and nursing practice advocate. Don't just go with the flow.
    Last edit by jimthorp on Jan 3, '07
  8. by   GardenDove
    Hey, thanks for the imput. I think this will be an interesting new experience for me. You all give good advise. I'll have to feel it out, and yes I do have a particular interest in pt safety, which is why I volunteered in the first place. It will be interesting to find out the stats on our occurence reports.
  9. by   RYNOBLASTER30
    Quote from GardenDove
    For some unknown reason, I volunteered to be on the pt Safety Committee. Our QA gal, who heads the committee, sent me the minutes of the last meeting. I think she's really glad I'm on the committee because our whole hospital was in an absolute uproar last summer (small town hospital), and I was pretty vocal to her in my dissatisfaction and was making noises about leaving. Anyways, from the appearence of the minutes it sounds like it's going to be bunch of annoying JCAHO stuff.

    The cause of the uproar is our chief nursing officer, who is a hysterical control freak who has alienated the entire nursing staff, and has driven away every manager (except for mine, God bless her), in some cases several for each dept, he's incredibly difficult to work for. Anyways, he's on the committee too, of course she didn't mention that originally since she knows how loathed he is. He's so bad that when I went to a cardiac nursing ed thing, a nurse found out where I was from and went on a 20 minute diatrabe about this director of nursing, and how hated he was at his last place of employment.

    Anyways, I'm trying to be more of a comformist, that's my goal for this upcoming year. It will be good for me spiritually and it's high time I started being more mainstream. Anyone have any experience on committees? Should I just keep my mouth shut?
    No, that's why nurses are in the positon that we are in. We aren't vocal enough, and God forbide we stick together. Be as vocal as you want to be, remember you are a nurse, there's a shortage, and you can go anywhere.

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