Those Annoying And Troublesome Notes

By: Alfred Winnberry

I found it both annoying and troublesome to keep getting equipment into the shop with notes on it saying “broken” or “does not work”.  As this continued to happen I started to identify where the majority of these items were coming from.  It was the 3rd floor west wing.  I went to that floor and wing and walked up to the nurse station.  All of a sudden I fell flat on the floor face down.  As you would expect the staff rushed over to see what was the matter.  In a couple of minutes I jumped up on my feet and said, “I’m sick”. 

After the initial drama of this all calmed down, I told them all, “Now you see what happens when you send me equipment with notes on it that say “broken”.  Pretty soon word of what had happened spread thru the hospital.  In a couple days I got a phone call from the Director of Nursing to come visit with her in her office.  I went to the meeting and found out that she was not mad at me but instead happy that I had found a way to correct a very big problem.  She told me she wanted me to do it again in a few other places in the hospital.

The story above did not happen to me and in fact I don’t even know if it is even true.  What is true is that I have told this story many many times at nursing and other staff meetings that I have attended and it not only gets a good laugh out of the audience it also clearly helps them all to see and understand this problem that we biomeds see everyday.  I do not know for sure whether telling this story has had a positive impact on how many of these kind of notes biomed receives everyday but I do think it has.  Try it and see if telling this story will work for you.

This article was contributed by: Alfred Winnberry, a free lance Clinical Engineering Consultant working primarily in the midwest area of the United States.  He has been in this field for over twenty years and operating his own consulting business for the past ten years.  If you would like to contact Alfred please send us an email: