Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Putting out Fires

Several times a week, we have to do a "fire watch."  It is just what it is called.  You watch for fires.  The fire detection system is turned off for servicing.  A form is utilized on every ward with lines for the time and a signature that no fire was found.  Every half hour, concurrent with the face check, someone needs to sign the form.

I know that this makes no sense.  Why aren't we progressive enough to use the built-in fire detection system?  It's not one of those old, scary asylum mansions.  It's a modern building with electricity and internet hookups.

Anyway, an attendant came to me late in the morning with the form completed for the entire day, even though we had five more hours left.  She told me, "Nurse, you have to fix this.  Someone wrote the time as every fifteen minutes.  Isn't it supposed to be every half hour?"

I looked at the form.  I asked, "Why did you sign that there was no fire at 2 pm when it is only 10:30 in the morning?"

She replied, "I'm not asking about that.  I am showing you that someone did it every fifteen minutes and it's supposed to be every thirty minutes."

"You signed it," I replied.

"I signed it, but I didn't write the times.  Someone else wrote the times, and they are wrong.  You have to fix it."  She stood there, staring at me.

"Actually," I proceeded carefully, "You can fix it."  Her eyes widened.  I continued, "You have discovered the errors and have time to get a new form and fill it out correctly."  She stood there, frozen.

Another attendant was nearby, listening, and now felt the need to jump in.  "Hold on!  When we tell you that something is wrong, you fix it.  That is what you always do."

She is correct.  I usually fix everything that everyone else messes up.  I do this out of fear that I will be blamed for the entire mistake.  I am tired of catching everyone's mistakes and then feeling as if the responsibility of fixing them falls on me.  I don't mention the mistakes to anyone.  I just fix them and move on.  But this angers people that I find mistakes.

I looked at both of them.  I spoke as professionally as possible.  "Ladies, I have counseled you on an error and provided you with the necessary guidance to remedy the error.  If you choose to not follow my directions, that is on you, not me."  I walked away.

They managed to find another form and fill it out correctly.

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