“A Team”

I’ve known for a long time that almost everyone that works in the same job/career/profession that I do has “certain” personality traits.  Our job, by its very nature, requires us to scrutinize (often our peers) documentation.  We look for inconsistencies, we want to see things wrapped up in neat little packages.  The dots should all connect to make a pretty, very detailed and unique package for each patient.  I’m pretty sure it drives the clinician 12 shades of crazy.  We follow “rules”, “conventions”, and “guidance”.  We HAVE to see the documentation – not just hear what you have to say.  We earn the nickname “A Team”.  We don’t let things slide, we don’t go with “good enough”, it has to be perfect.  We are liability-conscious, “HIPPA freaks”, detail-oriented micro-managers.

I will freely admit that before I changed from being a hands-on nurse to a QA (quality assurance) nurse, I would be the one 12 shades of crazy because of “those QA people”.  I have been on both sides of the fence – and easily poke fun at myself.

I’ve spent the last couple days in class to update my knowledge and test to renew one of my certifications.  This class is comprised of about 85% QA staff and 15% clinical staff.  Therefore, it is about 85% obsessive compulsive QA geeks.  Yesterday I was seated next to a lady that wanted to talk and comment about everything the speaker was talking about.  I wanted to hear what the speaker had to say.  Tried politely ignoring her, she was blissfully ignorant.  Finally, just straight up told her I was not going to converse with her.  I was there for class.  (Not my usual behavior – speaking up and speaking out.)  This morning, I selected a different seat when I arrived.  That was around 7:45am EST – did y’all feel the earth move?  That simple choice caused a cascade of horror.  I “stole” someone’s seat that they sat in yesterday.  Which meant that she had to sit in a different seat – and someone else had to sit somewhere else – and on and on…..A couple of them were like fish out of water – gasping and huffing and puffing.  Finally a brave one asked me if I would consider sitting somewhere else – like the seat I was in yesterday.  I smiled, and politely declined. (Not my usual behavior – again.  A very short time ago, I would have packed up and moved right back.) This resulted in more gasping and dyspnea.  I gently pointed out that we didn’t have assigned seats.

Growing up, we had a pastor that gently poked fun at us Methodists for always sitting in the same pew – every Sunday.  Lawdy, lawdy – I found a group dedicated to owning seats more than us Methodists!

Grace lesson:

Be able to poke fun at yourself.

Be flexible.

Change your seat periodically.

Speak up for yourself.

Stick to your guns.

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