Lighten Up

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As I write this, I am getting myself and my kids ready to leave the house. My right eye has been twitching and it is hard to breath through the elephant sitting on my chest. 

I was out late last night at a system meeting downtown and I am so exhausted that I decided against running when the alarm went off at 4:30AM. Instead, I lay in bed unable to shut my mind off about not running and about what the day was going to look like at the clinic. 

Yesterday one of the medical assistants (the staff that room patients, give shots, assist with procedures, call messages back to patients) stormed off and left work in the morning because the office manager told her she should not be verbally abusive to other staff, an ongoing issue with her. Will she be back today? 

Dunno. 

That leaves us with three medical assistants for four providers. Admittedly we have had it worse last year (one MA for three providers at times) but it is terribly stressful for the remaining staff. It typically takes 6-8 weeks to find a replacement and get them through HR and the system wide mandated training and into our clinic. During that time the remaining staff get pushed to the max and their job satisfaction starts to crumble. Then it is a snowball effect. One by one they start going elsewhere. You have heard me mention these woes before. It just never seems to stop…

As of last week the clinic is about $48,000 in the hole. Not because we are not seeing patients. It is because we are so far behind on posting charges due to a front desk staff member going out on leave due to mental health issues for six weeks. All of the other front desk personnel had to cover for her which left charge posting on the back burner. Hopefully it will get caught up soon.

This is exhausting. 

Fortunately, I get to introduce my kids to Waffle House tonight. I think waffles will make everything better. 

Temporarily. 

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129 thoughts on “Lighten Up

  1. Yum, waffles with strawberries and syrup. Ahhh, my mouth is watering. The issue you describe with the MA is one that is covered in many business courses. The bottomline Victo is that those who cannot play as a team member are destructive to the team and moral. I’ve seen many case studies about this and seen it work in my own managing experience. Employees will lose respect for the employer and other team members if it is permitted for them to be insulted and abused by another employee.. At best it makes for a stressful and poisonous office culture decreasing efficiency, increasing errors, increasing absenteeism and illness) and at worst it is a legal liability. The only way to deal with it is the same as you would a necrotizing infection – cut it out regardless of what has to go with it – do it fast and completely or the whole organism is at risk. I do realize that you likely have to build a file but waste no time. Start with the walk-out – insubordination will do as a charge.And carry on until done.

    Good luck and happy eating!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Make sure your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted. Make sure you document carefully and make sure you don’t leave open a case for constructive dismissal. This can occur if the employee resigns and contends that their treatment was poisonous enough that they had no choice – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_dismissal . It is easy to circumvent if you are prepared especially when all other employees are happy.

        Good luck! And well done (the good-bye, that is)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh that sounds so stressful. I have been in a similar situation when I managed a mental health project and I wanted to tear my hair out. My doctor is stressed right now because three of his staff are pregnant… I am so sorry that bureaucracy from all levels (government to insurance to staff) prevents doctors from enjoying their job and earning the money they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t feel bad about missing your run in the morning. You have to take time off everyone in awhile especially if you’re feeling pressured. Enjoy your time with your children at the Waffle House. Have a good weekend, VIcto.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I vote for dessert waffles with chocolate and whipped cream.

    Don’t you have an office manager whose job is to take that stress off you so that you can concentrate on the patients? If not, you should get one. You shouldn’t have to be dealing with staff issues on top of everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The office manager cannot room patients. He takes care of the interventions, write ups if needed. He helps recruit new staff. But corporate’s hiring hoops makes some of this terrible difficult.

      Like

      • I understood that, but I just thought an office manager might be able to do a better job handling staff disputes so that you don’t have to deal with them. Being shorthanded is tough in any office. Hope your situation gets resolved sooner rather than later.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We used to own a business. We had the same problem, then one day when the pressure was on the rest of the crew I told them it was going to be nuts for a while but if they could hang in there I would take the income of the person that left and split it with whom ever had to help do the job. Every one was happy and I did not lose any key people. Just saying. Good luck, waffles help. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can’t say I’ve ever been to a waffle house, but waffles with strawberry ice cream on top sounds like the perfect way to relax for a bit before diving back into the struggle. Hoping you’re able to find an MA with their head on straight to join the team!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry, because even though mine was dental with a smidge of the medical thrown in because of the surgical aspect, 20 years of that crap was about 10 too long. Best decision ever to just walk away thanks to the arthritis.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know the answers to the question. You know it will take some effort to add pleasure for yourself and your staff. Ordering a few meals in to the office for the whole staff, handing out movie passes unexpectedly, making time for music and dancing and wine for yourself, laughing with the kids, family video night, dates with your husband, blanket forts in the living room, and waffles, all will help make the next few weeks go more smoothly. There are costs to it, but I think not as much as the costs of not doing it. hugs…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Unfortunately the administrative part of running an office was never taught in medical school (correction- 1 week over 6 years of med school and residency)… it can often be much more stressful than the actual job you are trained to do. Take a deep breath, hug your kids and remember that it is not in your control at the present time. Try to be optimistic that this too, will pass. Most importantly, take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Working in health care lately has been very negative and miserable. It is terrible at my place. So many changes its hard to keep up and with totally new Executive all striving to prove themselves, it has been horrible. And we have such a shortage of clinicians that we are burning out our revenue makers. ARRRGGGGG Waffles sound excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Are you kidding me?! Personalities must match together with respect for each other and their positions. Hostility, abusive verbage unacceptable-be glad that person is gone. If he/she is that way how are your Patients being handled? Food for thought (pun intended)! Waffle House is a greasy spoon Doc clog the arteries big time!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Work, just a faint memory! (Cue evil laugh ) *I love retirement. Waffles are okay but if you want to feel better then french toast is the prescription i recommend, avec blueberries s’il vous plait.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. There are very few situations that wouldn’t be improved by waffles. Peace negotiators should be given a steady stream of them. If the negotiations involve nuclear or international football issues, the waffles should have ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think it’s the same everywhere…. I have the joy of hiring MA’s for my husbands office, and replacing them… and it’s stressful for everyone because nothing is ever perfect. Just hired a new one this week, she starts Monday… fingers crossed that she turns out to be as good as she seems…and fingers crossed for you too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a crap shoot. You get your hopes up and BAM! they get smashed because in truth you have hired the worst possible person and now you cannot get rid of them. Bless you for your role. I finally had to wash my hands of hiring completely and let my office manager do it. Too exhausting.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I only want to abuse the pager I am staring at right now. As soon as I try to get immersed in what I need to be doing- it will go off. I hate the pager.

    It is so hard to find and keep good help. Good luck on your search.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There are two things in my busy life that keep me calm. Coffee and something interesting to read.

    I recently read Tolstoy’s short story “What Men Live By.” It made me feel much better…

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: My Article Read (3-4-2016) – My Daily Musing

  18. There are so many things wrong with workers and the structures of workplaces it’s hard to know where to start… a pool of trained temps seem like the best solution suggested for your continuing staff problems. Unfortunately, you don’t have the power to implement it I would guess. And frustrating to see a possible solution and not be able to do anything.
    So, family and waffles. Not a bad way to deal with what can’t be changed. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We civilians tend to forget that the business of saving lives and curing the sick is just that. A business. I hear commercials on the radio about hospitals with the best cancer cures in the area. Soft music plays in the background and a patient testifies to the quality of the hospital. Come HERE if you want your life saved. But I guess hospitals have to advertise and entice the public just like beer companies and cable TV providers.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hope it will get caught up soon… My doctor and his two partners have two FD assistants and one takes care of payments. I’m constantly amazed how they handle multi-tasks at the FD!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Per month, they close the office on Monday to take care of all the paper work and they close every Friday afternoon. Now, they are letting us to check our lab results on line. I just hope these changes relieve some of the stress at the FD.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Where the waffles good? I’m really sorry to hear that. Good people are hard to find. (I had my own company for nearly 20 years…) But eventually one does find them. Slowly. Meantime, can you cut on the workload? No, right? patients keep getting sick, darn. Wish y’all luck.
    (Crazy thought: why don’t you take all the staff – and docs – to Waffle House? For fun?)

    Liked by 1 person

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