Have you ever worked with someone who does the minimum they have to do for the maximum amount of pay? They don’t do any more than they absolutely have to. Doing the minimum is “good enough” for them.
Well, maybe that’s okay if you’re manufacturing widgets (not really) but as nurses, how does this impact our ability to be successful AND the work we do?
I used to work as a nurse educator in an acute care organization. One of my roles was to support the nurses on the units with their competencies, educational needs, clinical issues and projects. We had a clinical ladder in place and one way to climb the ladder (more pay and opportunity) was to take on a project.
I remember a nurse who I thought of as “just going through the motions.” She always had a scowl on her face, was a master at eye rolling and never impressed me with her clinical skills or professionalism. So, I was quite surprised and thrilled when she called me for help to start a project. Wow! Her call reminded me to never give up hope!!
Boy. Was I wrong!
When we met, the first words out of her mouth were, “Look. They say I have to do a project if I want a raise this year. I need YOU (while pointing her finger) to come up with a project that requires the least amount of work on my part.”
Ugh. Really? I was hoping she was kidding but she wasn’t. This nurse suffered from the “good enough” syndrome.
Successful nurses recognize that good enough – isn’t!
They strive for excellence in everything they do, whether it’s medication administration, presenting a lecture about rapid response to a new group of nurses, providing discharge instructions to a new diabetic or precepting a student nurse.
Successful nurses do not fall victim to the “good enough” syndrome
Consider this…if 99% is good enough:
· 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly each year
· 107 incorrect medical procedures will be performed by the end of day today
· 12 babies will be given to the wrong parents every day
· If you drive to work everyday, you would have 2.3 accidents per year
When it comes to patient care, good enough isn’t good enough. You have to be great!
Steps to move from good enough to great:
1. “Sharpen the saw” like the late Stephen Covey said. Work hard to improve your skills and knowledge
2. Surround yourself with great people. Humans are influenced by who they spend the most time with. If you spend time with mediocre people instead of great people….you get what you get.
3. Make a commitment to excellence. Think, “How can I do ____ with excellence?” and do it.
As for that nurse…I told her that unless she was committed to executing her project with excellence, I was not willing to help her. Guess she found someone else because I she never reached out to me for help again. As a nurse who strives for excellence, I can’t in good conscious condone this type of behavior.
Make the choice to be great!
Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to read your comments.Take care and stay connected.
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