Hospital Dilemma

Susan and Nancy work for a department within a local hospital. One of the their main responsibilities is to prepare charts for patients coming in for surgery; reviewing the doctor’s notes, ordering warranted preoperative testing, and educating the patients. As the department grew, the director decided a coordinator was needed, as she was not available to spend much time in the department. Susan decided to apply for the lead position, her co-worker Nancy also applied for the job. Nancy has been with the department for 15 years and is a close personal friend and neighbor of the department director. Nancy is known in the department as someone who does not work very hard, and often attempts to hand off her assignments to her co-workers. Susan has worked in the department for five years. She was persuaded to apply for the coordinator position by her peers, who felt she was more qualified than Nancy.

Nancy was offered and accepted the position of department coordinator, but did not change her work habits. She often made fun of the director behind her back in an attempt to fit in better with the group. Nancy spent the majority of her day talking to her family and friends on the phone and was known to “work” on charts, which were already completed by her coworkers in order to look busy. Nancy was notorious for handing off her assignments at the end of the day for her co-workers to complete. Susan’s peers felt frustrated with the situation, but were reluctant to address their concerns for Nancy’s behavior with the director because of the close friendship of the two outside of work.

Susan also grew frustrated with Nancy’s inability to contribute to the department as well as her abuse of her lead position and friendship with the director to intimidate her coworkers.

Should Susan hope the department director will eventually catch on to Nancy’s behavior, or should she approach her director?