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The Truth Hurts

Written by: Ann Richardson

The truth hurts. Recently, a physician told me that my truth-writing on the inherent weaknesses in many health care organizations and hospital systems wouldn't get me hired by the Leadership that could use my advice and support. The fear factor is high, and most of the words of encouragement and support I receive daily are behind the scenes. Physicians, nurses, and many other clinicians share their stories and appreciate being seen and heard by someone who "gets it” - someone who has walked the talk from Hospital Administration. This is not shocking to me, and why I am now on the "outside." Silence is not an option for me regarding patient access, safety, and quality. When it comes to advocating for physicians, nurses, care teams, and the entire workforce, silence is not an option for me. When it comes to advocating for myself, silence is not an option for me. I was silenced for years, and it almost killed me. Safety, quality, and doing "the right thing" always win in my world.

I was often asked to look the other way on wrong doing, be quiet, and not report my findings of patient safety concerns or non-compliance. The ethical dilemma of working among the Mafia-like code of silence took a toll on me. I walked away to save my self-respect, dignity, and ultimately, my soul.

My solutions are not rocket science. Observing and listening can do wonders when assessing a challenge. My style is partnering and engaging to work towards solutions as a team. No blame game or rear-view mirror. When Leadership ignores the voices and chaos ensues, the pace of turnover increases, and patient access plummets. My voice is one of experience, empathy, compassion, and reason. I will keep writing and respect all those who reach out in confidence. "I admire you because you do what I aspire to do. You have credibility and good content. You create this place where people feel safe to comment and bring their ideas and stories to the table." "It is very powerful." - A respectful nurse professional who reached out last night in a DM. I am grateful for being entrusted with your experiences and ideas. If only we could share them where it matters most. If only everyone could handle the truth. 💔 #trust #moralinjury #compassion #suitstoscrubs #respect #gratitude #goodtrouble #empathy #healthcare #team #leadership #advocacymatters #voices #hubris


About the Author

Ann Richardson

Healthcare Operations Consultant

Ann has invested 25+ years in healthcare leadership in hospital systems work. Her topics of expertise center around abuse and silencing in healthcare, patient safety. She also touches on corrupt and inept leadership in healthcare.

"Women in medicine are sexually assaulted and often remain silent due to fear of career loss and even our life. I "survived" a drugging, kidnapping, and rape and never told a soul for years. Death threats and job loss are real."


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