You are a 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM charge nurse on a surgical unit. You have been selected to chair the unit’s safety committee. Each month, you have a short committee meeting with the other committee members. Your committee’s main responsibility is to report upward any safety issues that have been identified. Lately, you have found an increase in needle-stick incidents, and the committee has been addressing this problem.
The committee is made up of two nursing assistants, one unit clerk, two staff registered nurses, and two licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses. All shifts and staff cultures are represented. Lately, you have found that the meetings are not going well because one member of the group, Mary, has begun to monopolize the meeting time. She is especially outspoken about the danger of HIV and seems more interested in pointing blame regarding the needle sticks than in finding a solution to the problem.
You have privately spoken to Mary about her frequent disruption of the committee business; although she apologized, the behavior has continued. You feel that some members of the committee are becoming bored and restless, and you believe that the committee is making little progress.
DQ: Using your knowledge of committee structure and effectiveness, outline steps that you would take to facilitate more group participation and make the committee more productive. Be specific and explain exactly what you would do at the next meeting to prevent Mary from taking over the meeting.