Monday, November 7, 2016
The Dragon Attacks, Part Two
And Wilma struck again.
I need the head medical doctor to sign off on certain things. He is impossible to track down and he doesn't answer his phone. When I venture out of my little area, I always carry a folder of stuff for his signature in case I bump into him.
I saw him early one morning and followed him into the daily nursing meeting. I've attended this meeting before. It's a boring waste of time. The shift supervisors read aloud the shift report, stumbling over words, as if they were not the author.
I sat behind the head doctor and handed him paper after paper to sign. As we finished, the meeting was over, so everyone filed out.
Nurse Wilma was lurking outside the door. She followed one of the shift supervisors and a screaming match quickly started.
"She has no business being in that meeting! Why didn't you kick her out?" Wilma screamed at the supervisor.
"She's attended the meeting before. It's not a big deal. She was doing something with the doctor."
"You can't let her do whatever she wants to do. She is out of control! Who does she report to?" Wilma screamed.
The shift supervisor informed Wilma that my immediate supervisor has been out for the last six weeks for a medical problem. (It has been wonderful.) Wilma lost it, screaming, "So she is allowed to run all over this hospital, doing whatever she wants, with nobody saying anything to her? This is unheard of. I want this problem addressed immediately and I am holding you responsible. As far as the hospital is concerned, her behavior will come back on you, so you better take a stand now."
With those words, I realized how Wilma would convince my immediate supervisor to add to my responsibilities and get me in trouble. Wilma threatened her, saying that we would both be in trouble if she did not take Wilma's side against me.
Later the shift supervisor called me. "Listen, Wilma was wrong, but she has a point. You shouldn't attend meetings because you are not important. And to be on the safe side, I'm not including you in any emails or any other sharing of patient information. Wilma is after you, and I'm not going to get in the middle of whatever you two are fighting about. Just leave me out of it."
"But you are taking her side by cutting me off," I explained.
"No, I'm getting away from both of you," she insisted.
"That's not the power dynamic here," I explained. "You and Wilma are both over me. When she commands that an action be taken against me, and you go along with her, you are not neutral. You are undermining me and limiting my ability to carry out the functions of my job."
The supervisor could not follow.
"Listen, just don't speak to her. She's not really in charge of anybody, and frankly, I'm sick of her yelling at me too," the supervisor added, as if to invoke my sympathy. "And another thing. I heard that you are unhappy with the emergency policy. If you want to change it, go to the committee on policy. I have no idea why you would get Wilma involved in that."
"Wilma heads the policy committee. I didn't bring her into it. She brought me into it," I explained. Exasperated.
"Oh, well, I didn't know that," the supervisor fumbled. "Either way, just say nothing to Wilma."