Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meeting of No Mind

I was invited to a meeting of a group that has to do with spending.

I was a little excited- maybe I could add something financial to my resume.  Prospective employers want to see that you can positively effect the bottom line, right?

But then I remembered where I work.  There are no opportunities to get ahead.  Based on how everything else operates in this place, I don't think that anyone has any real control or insight into the financial aspects of the business.

I asked the woman who invited me for an agenda.

"We really don't have one," she replied.  I was not surprised.  This meeting was going to be a waste of time.

"I'm not sure what you expect of me at this meeting," I tried.

"Oh, I guess nothing at first," she answered.

"What is the purpose of this meeting?" I tried again.

"To discuss ideas," she answered.

"Ideas about what?" I queried.

"Ideas about issues," she answered.

This was going to be a useless meeting.  No surprise.

At the meeting, I was given about twenty stapled pages.  I was listed as a new member.  What?  I had not committed to anything.

For half an hour, someone read some of the twenty pages, including numbers from tables.  So unnecessary.  Five years of tables about admissions and discharges.  People were actually nodding their heads in pleasant surprise as the figures were spoken out loud for each month for the past FIVE YEARS.  As a patient was discharged, another was admitted.  Who hasn't caught on to this concept?

Finally the point of my presence was mentioned:  I will be submitting reports on the number and types of radiology exams.

"I have nothing to do with radiology," I quipped.  I will not have anymore work piled onto me.  Especially not for stupid tables and graphs for this committee.

Blank stares.  Finally the woman who invited/admitted me into the group said, "I thought you scheduled all that."

"No, I do not," I responded.  "Nurses on the wards call in the orders directly to radiology."

"Well, you could still get those numbers and present them to us every month.  We're trying to save the hospital money, which will improve patient care."

"Actually," I countered again, "the imaging company that services this hospital is computerized, so if you contact the hospital's account rep, she can give you those numbers."

More blank stares.  Determined to put something on me, the woman continued, "So you can call and get those numbers and report back to us in next month's meeting."

"No.  You can call her directly yourself and explain what you need and she can email you whatever numbers, graphs, and analysis you want."  I'm not increasing my workload and then making an easy target when someone has to be fired for excessive spending on radiology services.

In my view, I left the meeting committed to nothing.  They may think that I committed to cut expenditures in radiology in half.  Not that they know how much the hospital spends on radiology services.


  1. The key to long term survival as a clinical nurse is to avoid meetings at all cost. If you engage with direct patient care, you can avoid most of the administrative self-proclaimed big shots.