As a manager I realized that there are going to be those who will be your drama queens/kings. There are those who love to stir the pot. There are those who are your anchors and those who anchor you down....and then there are those that you can't get motivated/involved for anything but lunch or payday. Kind of like AN.....
The real key is getting them to play nice in the sand box. I had a "female dog" complaint box. I had a drama complaint box. I had a real concern/patient safety box and a whining box for the employees to voice their opinions and feelings. But I had bigger prettier kudos box. I made it very clear that I tolerated NO pettiness or back stabbing and if they had nothing nice to say they were to say nothing at all. All complaints had to be written to the box first....then if it was still important they had to submit, in writing, to schedule their session...I mean discussion at a later date, when rational thought returns.
I had a strict DO NOT ENGAGE/RETAILIATE POLICY under the umbrella of professional conduct. I made it very clear that you don't have to like someone to work with them. Working a shift is NOT having them over to your house for dinner. If they were good to their patients , practiced safe nursing/medicine..it doesn't matter that you don't like their hair or the way they chew gum. I made a physical presence on ALL shifts regularly and participated actively in patient care when possible/needed so I could witness/stop drama in it's track. AND I had a case of "put your big girl/boy paties on" in my office.
It's exhausting at first but worth it in the end.
After making them actually confront each other and calling them out in front of their peers......they finally decided that if it wasn't going to matter in a hundred years. It doesn't matter now......as long as the patients are safe and cared for. I always believed that a department that plays together stays together and got the doc's to belly up some cash so we could do booze, I mean dinner cruises and let our hair down. Cook outs and summer games on the back deck worked wonders.
But somewhere along the way you have to acknowledge that what they are feeling while may seem real.....it isn't a matter of life or death. When you are surrounded by drama....life, death, illness, loss.....drama is as much apart of daily life as brushing your teeth or breathing air. It's what you do with that energy that counts.
I think that in today's economy there are additional stresses. "Senior management" are brow beat.......I mean pressuring the managers and staff with unrealistic expectations. Insurance companies are squeezing the MD's. This tinkles right down to the staff and the sniping begins so I think it is more difficult right now. Bring the offending parties together in a neutral area and let them hash it out and then let them all know ......this ends today and will not be tolerated during work hours.
Ahhh...the good ole days....I'm going to take a nap I'm exhausted
.Good luck Gitano!!!