Nurses using Political Strategies to Influence the Decision

A hospital is planning to purchase new telemetry heart monitors for the intensive care unit (ICU), emergency department (ED), and intermediate care unit (IMCU). To make the capital purchase productive, hospital administration forms a committee consisting of the unit managers, nursing representatives from each unit, a bio-med individual, and the financial officer. Each unit is allowed representation based on the number of nurses employed on the units. This results in three ICU nurses, three IMCU nurses, and one ED nurse.

Management is concerned about the costs of replacing the telemetry monitors; therefore, the financial officer pushes for the cheapest product, insisting that budget constraints and decreased revenue require the purchase of a less expensive system. However, the ICU, IMCU, and ED representatives gather after the meeting to discuss their support for the most expensive system. They devise a proposal that outlines the uninterrupted flow of patients with the system, explains how the telemetry units meet each area’s needs, and demonstrates how the system will save money in the long term.

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They create a chart that compares the two models, demonstrating how the more expensive system could enhance patient outcomes. They convince the bio-med representative to side with them based on their knowledge that his mother is in the ICU and could benefit from the outcome.  The nurses also gain support from several local cardiologists for their desired system.

Respond to each of the posed questions.

  1. Describe how the nurses used political strategies to influence the decision.
  2. How does this case reflect the political power of nurses?
  3. How did the nurses demonstrate the political skills described in the text?
  4. What were the purposes behind the nurses forming a coalition?

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