You would think that everyone would be aware of how critically important consistency is. It’s truly indispensable. 

Take being a parent for example. When you have a two-parent household, being aligned is vitally significant. And within that alignment, you need consistency. I mean, as parents, we do our best not to mess up our kids, but I can promise you, if you are inconsistent, you won’t achieve that. 

For example, let’s say you have a consistent bedtime at 9 p.m. It’s understood everything needs to be completed before 9 p.m. Everyone can get with the program. But if one night you say bedtime is 9, another 8, another 10, it’s just downright confusing. No one knows what to do, when to finish things, etc. It’s not fair to the kids.

Consistency provides a level of comfort. Even in statistics, a constant is an entity whose value does not change throughout the calculation. It can be relied on. 

And here is something really powerful. Transformation happens when you do consistently what others do occasionally. Think about how powerful consistent good customer service is. Like, having a procedure where all leaders meet the new admission within 24 hours of the admission and it is a facility habit that you can count on. It’s comforting and transforms customer service. 

What about consistent assignment? I never understand why everybody doesn’t do that. With consistent assignment your staff REALLY know the residents. Knows what they like, when they are having an off day, etc. That’s transformational.

But consistency should, however, be doing something good consistently. I had an employee once who said, “I’m very consistent. I come in late every single day!” That’s not so much what we want.

Or how is it so consistently hot in Hell? Good insulation. (I know: Dad joke!)

What do you call a knight with a consistent sleep schedule? Sir Cadian. (Nurse joke!)

OK, but bottom line, small things done consistently always trump things done occasionally. Be consistent in what you expect, what your procedures are, how you treat everyone and you will be an exceptional, transformational leader.

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates. 

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.

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