There was a book back in the day called “I’m OK, You’re OK.” Frankly, I thought it was kind of stupid. It gave people excuses to be jerks and said that was, well, OK, just do your thing. I’m like, no, own up to your crap and fix it. It’s not OK.
It’s like people who just make something bad into something worse. Like, spilling your wine on the carpet and then, instead of owning up to spilling red wine on a white carpet and doing the hard work to get the wine out, you say, “Well, I spilled wine on the carpet so I better burn the house down because the carpet’s ruined!”
Or, someone who gets pregnant by a person they cannot picture living the rest of their life with, saying, “Well, I’m pregnant, guess we have to get married.” (Boy, I’m probably going to take a hit on that one!)
So, what does this have to do with our profession? I’m getting to that. How many times have we seen our staff make an honest mistake but then go and make it worse by the way they deal with it?
But could the way they deal with it be our fault, as managers? Have we created a safe environment for our staff to come to us when they made that mistake so we can work it out together? Are they afraid we will belittle them, write them up, tell them to “figure it out on their own” or something else that completely defies any modicum of leadership?
We can learn from our mistakes, and we can grow from our mistakes, especially if we have someone who is willing to guide us to good decision making. Someone who can make it so that we start learning to fix our own “issues” constructively.
Then maybe, just maybe, we’re OK.
Just keeping it real,
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.