Friday, September 23, 2011

Your Response Shows Your Integrity

By Chris Landis, white belt

In researching the word “integrity”, you will find words such as honest, trustworthy, reliable etc. All of these words are nothing without the word consistency. Without being consistently honest, consistently trustworthy and consistently reliable your integrity becomes questionable.

As a pediatric critical care nurse my coworkers need to be able to trust myself and my abilities. I need to maintain integrity in my actions so that my teammates can not only trust my actions, but be able to anticipate them.

Unfortunately we are humans and we make mistakes. While your mistakes don’t test your integrity, your response to them does. One of the most recent drives in the healthcare industry for quality improvement is self-reporting medication errors. While none of us want to make mistakes, much less admit them, we do make mistakes and our reaction to them needs to be one that is honest and reliable. In order to make improvements, each mistake needs to be studied and all of the potential sources of errors need to be identified. With the critical and intense nature of the care we provide, errors would be easy to sweep under the rug, and with the majority of them being insignificant and inconsequential, it’s tempting. But it’s a slippery slope, and it has to be realized. When you and your coworkers have enough integrity to be able to consistently and reliably self-report their errors, improvements can be made.

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