Contributions of Obsessive Compulsive

It was the second time in the last three months that a patient had been lost in surgery due to not having the right instruments available to the surgical team. Something needed to be done.

Sterile Supply was responsible for preparing surgical kits and having them in the operating room. The kits were prepared for each surgery based upon the needs of the surgeon. What complicated the issue was that each surgeon had their own preferences for instruments. A surgical database was prepared for what each surgeon needed, and a card was prepared for the placement of the instruments on the surgical tray. The trouble was that the details were often overlooked by employees. A Sterile Supply tech position was often an entry-level position and the tenure in the job was often very short.

Janice Clinger was at her wits end for what she could do to find employees who would do the job properly. Her wife, Sherry, was head of the pediatrics mental health practice and as she listened to Janice it sparked an idea.

“As you know, I have a number of patients with neurodiverse issues. One of the most common issues I deal with are patients with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). They are intelligent, but their obsessions or compulsions often create problems for them getting hired. I know of at least four recent patients who have aged-out of my practice who might be perfect fits for the need you have.”

In fact, Sherry’s idea was the answer. Every surgeon marveled at the turnaround in Sterile Supply. The compulsion for organization was exactly what was needed. While Sterile Supply was the primary beneficiary of the new hires, other areas of the hospital benefitted as well. The four new hires became internal organizational consultants.

They were asked to organize crash carts used for medical emergencies. They came up with a way that medications were properly dispensed. They overhauled nursing floor supply carts. What was especially encouraging was that the mental health clinical practice now had practical vocational training they could provide in the hospital for their OCD patients. And the four OCD hires became preceptors in the mental health practice.

Just imagine how much talent goes underutilized because we view a different mind as a challenge rather than an opportunity. Different minds often bring unique approaches to an organization that may be otherwise hard to find.

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“Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what form of wiring will be best at any given moment?” – Harvey Blume (Journalist)

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