Post-it Sunday 12/4/22-The Twilight Zone

The post-it reads “You are entering the twilight zone, where everything you can think of has been tried. Tried and failed. But sure, maybe this time it will work.”

New people always have ideas on how to make things work better.

There isn’t anything wrong with the way their new department does things.

New people are just not used to it.

It makes them uncomfortable.

Their new department doesn’t quite fit right. Needs to be taken in, or let out, or something. A new color perhaps?

‘Eureka!’ they think. ‘I’ll let these people know how we used to do it in my old hospital. Where it worked SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better!’

And they do.

Non-stop for days/weeks/months talking about how great their old hospitals were.

The surgeons were nicer.

The staff was more helpful.

The food in the cafeteria was better.

There was no snow/rain/frost/hurricanes/earthquakes/tornados. The list goes on.

It was nothing but kitten kisses and chocolate every day. And they got out early when they wanted, or made overtime when they wanted, or worked with their favorite surgeon when they wanted.

Life had been good in the old place. Or so they remember.

This lasts about two months. You know, through orientation. And then they realize that hey, their new place isn’t so bad. It just needs a bit of tweaking. And some new equipment. Dr. W would LOVE this particular instrument for Z surgery.

When they get over their impulse, their next impulse is to come up with a bright idea for their new department to buy to make X surgery for Y surgeon easier.

Never does it cross their mind that the department in question, their new department, has tried their new idea.

Tried it once. It failed, walked off, was too expensive.

Tried again with the next new staff. It failed, walked off, was too expensive.

Rinse. Repeat. With every new staff member.

And beware if their is a long-timer in their new place.

A long-timer with a good memory.

Always pointing out that whatever it is has, in fact, been tried before.

And failed for a variety of reasons.

Does this mean that new people can’t try?

No, absolutely not.

But don’t take it too badly when your idea has been tried and failed. Your precious idea that no one in the history of surgery has ever conceived of.

We can try again.

It might work this time.

What if it doesn’t?

What if it is too expensive? Or actually causes patient or staff harm? Or walks off to another department never to be seen again?

What then?

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