I agree with many of the proposals given. However it is important to identify all the elements, Docs, staff, management, adminstration needs, desires, complaints and issues.
Sometimes there are underlying issues related to single one-time complaints. Are the Docs just unhappy with your manager and bringing every complaint forward as a demostration of that unhappiness?
What do you think the doctors want to hear?
Who is committed to the total joint unit?
Are the Docs committed or are they aligned with another hospital?
Can you identify the complaints with a single doctor?
What do you know about the Ortho Docs manager?
Is he/she an old employee of the hospital or aligned with your competition?
If this is the first meeting, I do not attempt to problem solve. First meetings are often ventilation exercises for those with complaints. Get the facts first and followup with investigations on those facts. Doctors and nurses and others often magnify to stress their point.
"Committed to a total joint unit." I identify this as the weakness/strength depending on how the Docs and their manager view. Somewhere in the meeting, I would say, "we are committed to the total joint unit, however, I would not support its opening in the spring if we are not prepared as a unit to provide safe, effective nursing." or "It would be nice to open in the spring, however, a delay to make sure all players and personal are on the same page is not a bad thing." This might eliminate a threat or pressure point from the Docs.
In the end, one should keep a open mind. May be the Docs are right and they have indentified nursing issues which need correction in the unit. We have all worked with a nurse/nurses that do not have that caring work ethic which causes problems with the Docs and staff alike.
Have a glass of wine. This ain't "WAR" this is negotiations.
I suspect the Docs manager is going to come in and attempt to control the meeting, "strategies". Your strategy is to identify the complaints, investigate the complaint, analysis and problem solving of complaint. Once these are addressed, attempt to find out what the Docs want. I suspect they want something and it is not "just" the corrections to these simple petty problems.
After the meeting sit down and write everything you can remember and your thoughts about what was said, then put the paper away and look at it two days later. Its a great exercise and you will be surprised about your analysis post 2 days after the meeting.
Just some of my thoughts, Good Luck
[ May 13, 2001: Message edited by: RNed ]