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Posted: 12/8/2017 12:58:10 PM

Does Organizational Change Make You Cringe?

Does organizational change make you uncomfortable as a nurse? Do you find yourself resisting when new protocols are imposed? Have you gone with the flow of change, only to tell yourself that the old way was much better? Or are you a nurse manager who is having difficulty getting the staff nurses to participate in change initiatives?

Change has this primary intention: to improve the current situation and produce a better outcome. As noble as this intention seems, disturbing a process that everyone is already comfortable with is like stirring sand into water. It results in murkiness, and it may take some time before the sand settles down and the water becomes clear again.

In healthcare, change is inevitable, and it is a necessary part of the continuous pursuit to improve services. Nurses find themselves in a position to accept the new way of doing things, even if they are resistant to the idea. But because embracing change will surely be a part of your career as an RN, it will help to consider the following tips to get you through every change process happening in your organization:

1. Be pro-active about being fully informed.

One reason nurses resist change is that they do not have all the information about the initiative. They may hear about the proposal for innovation from a colleague who is against the idea, and the negativity can spread like wildfire. Nurse managers may find themselves frustrated while trying to encourage the staff to participate.

As a nurse, make it a habit to know all the latest updates and understand the purpose for change.

2. Always give feedback.

Providing feedback makes you involved from start to finish. It enables management to hear your ideas so they can make informed decisions about the change.

If, as a manager, you find that a feedback platform is inadequate or missing, suggest an open-structure communication system that will connect management and staff.

3. Be involved during the planning stage.

Make sure to attend meetings that are open to staff during the planning stage. If you are a nurse manager, take the time to represent your unit and make higher management consider your opinions on the matter.

Being involved from the start of a change process makes you excited to know if the initiatives have served their purpose well.

4. Participate in the process.

By this time, you have gained all the right information about the project and you have shared your suggestions. The next step is to give your best efforts to make it work. Be a team player and show enthusiasm. Others will feel your optimism and will likely embrace the new idea, too.

5. Give feedback on how the initiative has impacted you, patient care, and the organization as a whole.

This evaluation will help determine if the project is successful in meeting its goals, or not.

Abandoning an old system and welcoming a new one is not without its hurdles. Many times, it will take a lot of trust, patience, and continued support to sustain the initiative. Being involved from the start is a great way to be motivated to finish the feat that you have been part of, and it also makes you a co-owner of the change. After all the implementations are complete, you can feel proud that you have been a part of a successful endeavor.