So I have been at my job as Director of Rehabilitation Services at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for 2 whole months. Yesterday I was in a meeting with my fellow Directors in my Division and I shared that with them AND that clearly it seem my honeymoon period as a new Director was over.
People were so nice to me my first 6 weeks, not that they are still not being nice, but everyone wanted to meet with me and introduce themselves and tell me how valued occupational therapy and physical therapy is! They talked about working together and all the things we will do and accomplish, how exciting it was to have me there and we would talk about problems and challenges later...........
It is later!
Now the issues are productivity, documentation, reimbursement, staffing to grow while dollars are shrinking, retention, retention, retention and recruitment, policies and procedures, accreditation, staff morale, physician relations, customer satisfaction, equipment, space, space, space, space, Medicare, Medicaid, and those were the topics of a short 3 and 1/2 day week! (I am taking a long weekend, any wonder why!).
We continue with our assessment of culture and our SOAR analysis (strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results) and I am starting to ramp up for beginning to identify where we want to be in 2021......we will soon begin a visioning exercise to get all levels of staff to think about what our Department will be like in 10 years when we ARE the number 1 Rehabilitation Department in the country!
In the meantime reality is setting in that this is going to be a lot of hard work and that as a Director of a large Department I am going to have a lot of competing interests that will seek to detract me from our future and try and pull me into the here and now. My boss speaks about "getting out of the weeds" and that is what has to happen to develop and reach a strong shared vision, but it is a tall order.
In the short term I have some basic challenges to overcome like managing my Email In Box while allowing time to think strategically and balancing new 10 hour days with some fun (see above regarding a long weekend!). In the long term, I am starting to get a picture of some of the barriers that we will have to overcome to become the type of Department I envision. Luckily the first part of SOAR is strengths and my Department and Staff are FULL of them!
Short post today from the airport. Have a lovely weekend all!
It was so validating to read comments from a Director of Rehab that included concerns for retention and morale. As a salaried staff OT in a skilled facility contracted with a large rehab company, it seems the focus has been on micromanaging productivity, reimbursement and budgets at the expense of morale and retention. Currently, retention in our department is threatened by a staff looking for greener pasteurs (if there are any) as requests for support and resolutions have not been met.
Experienced clinicians question if less expensive new grads are more desirable. Is an expectation for advancement and development in a company that has our loyalty a thing of the past? Does upper management of a large organization realize there is a gap between the vision and the actual support available to those providing direct patient care? I hope to find answers/resolutions with the company that I respect and desire to provide valued services with for years to come. I hope to identify the support needed to again feel a valued contributor to the vision.
Congratulations on your new position. I hope you continue to value staff morale and retention in a position filled with the many challenges our current healthcare system presents. As OTs, I believe we will find the balance. The honeymoon may be over but a vision shared at all levels by professionals that feel valued and supported will surely result in 10th anniversary success.