Ask the nursing expert ... about dealing with workplace 'sabotage'

There’s an upcoming survey visit in my facility. Any suggestions on how to calm the atmosphere? 

The director of nursing sets the tone for the nursing department. Be even more present on your units; check about patients and systems with a tone of both inquiry and support. 

Have frequent small staff meetings and remind your team that a survey is an excellent way to demonstrate the great outcomes of all of their hard work. Talk about your expectations during a survey. Acknowledge they are hard working professionals and note that it will show in their attitude and their professionalism. 

During a survey, make frequent rounds on the units and remain as calm as you can. If workers see their leader is stressed, they also will be stressed. 

I have a new ADON starting after being without one for several months. I would like to orient her to the facility without being overwhelming. Do you have recommendations on how to proceed? 

You might want to start with your philosophy and goals for the nursing department. Be as detailed as you can, and include your expectations.

One idea is to discuss the probability of working a very flexible schedule. Talk about holiday and vacation time expectations.  Another is to review projects which call for ADON involvement, such as committees, rounds or leadership initiatives.