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    What to do when the clinic has taken you hostage

    Remedy dysfunctional clinic environment by directly addressing common complaints

     

    Complaint #3: “The physician won’t let me cross-train anyone to work with him. He only wants his technician. When he is out, he lets the technician take time off too. He has created a monster that I am not allowed to discipline, do reviews, or set the schedule for. Then, he asks me why morale is so low!”

    This administrator had the saddest demeanor I had seen in a while. She had a clinic under assault from the physician’s pet technician.

    The technician was a tyrant, lazy, and turfed anything she didn’t want to do on her fellow co-workers. They had no clue what his patient protocols were because she never told them, and if she did have them help her, he was not as pleasant to them as he was to his technician.

    The administrator explained that her group had lost four good technicians in the past year for this reason, as revealed in their exit interviews.

    I advised her to go back to her room and write down the good and the bad of life at her clinic. Then, write down where the physician’s behavior and the technician’s behavior fit into the good and bad.

    Afterward, I instructed her to sit down with the physician, discuss the issues regarding staff leaving, poor workplace/staff morale, and how these behaviors were making for a poor clinic workplace. Advise him that you need to have this technician in the same flock as the others.

    If he says no, then she would need to decide if she wanted to be an ineffective manager at this clinic any further. If her answer was no—and it was—there would be plenty of places that would want her to come and manage their group.

    3 lessons learned

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