Case Study One Pat and Chris are medical billing specialists who have been in the same department for 2 years. They are both well qualified and do a good job. They have always been competitive, each believing that they are the biggest contributors to team success. There is also an ongoing problem between them based on political views. During a team meeting 2 weeks ago, they had an argument after the state’s new gun control law was mentioned. Pat leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms, and loudly stated, “The government should keep its hands off my rights,” and, “Anyone who thinks that gun control is a good idea is ignorant.” Chris immediately leaned forward, pointing his finger at Pat and sternly told him that he did not know what he was talking about: guns cause hundreds of unnecessary injuries and deaths every year because the public has access to them. Their manager calmed things down and finished the meeting, but now Pat and Chris are avoiding each other whenever possible and not sharing important work-related information with each other. When the two are forced to interact, they find ways to subtly make verbal attacks at one another. The tension between them has spread, the entire team feels stressed because of the situation, and production has slowed.
Case Study Two
Agnes is a new medical assistant in a large primary care practice. At the end of the day, she was in the waiting room straightening up when the office manager, Jaime, entered the room and seemed to be checking up on Agnes’s work. Jaime picked up a stack of a local health newsletters and frowned. “What are these doing here, Agnes?” Agnes took a step back and quietly said, “I’m not sure,” keeping her eyes toward the floor. Jaime stepped toward Agnes, shaking the newsletters as he said, “Look Agnes, you don’t get to decide what the patients get to see. That’s Dr. Ruiz’s job.” At this point, Dr. Ruiz walked through the waiting room, smiled, and said, “Oh sorry, I put them out there as a resource for patients. Have a good evening!” Dr. Ruiz then walked out. Under his breath, Jaime muttered, “Who does he think he is?” and tossed the newsletters back on the table. Agnes looked at Jaime and an irritated voice said, “I guess you can leave them out then,” and shrugged as he walked out of the room. Agnes took a deep breath and straightened the newsletters.
Case Study Three
Darnell and Janine work for a large lab company in an appointment office. They have worked in the same office for 2 years. Darnell needed a patient file to prepare materials for a blood draw, and the file was not in the back. He walked up to the front desk, irritated that once again he had to track down a file that Janine was supposed to have filed. When Darnell arrived at the front desk, he saw a woman waiting to be checked in for lab work and Janine talking on her cell phone with her back to the waiting room. As soon as the woman saw Darnell, she waved at him and said, “Excuse me, sir, I’ve been waiting here for a couple of minutes, and I’m not feeling well. Could you check me in?” Darnell smiled and checked her in, asking her to have a seat in the waiting room and telling her that he would make sure she was not waiting any longer than necessary. During this patient encounter, Janine turned and gestured that she would be just another minute. Another person stepped up to the counter, holding lab orders and an insurance card. Darnell started checking this person in, too. While photocopying the insurance card, Darnell whispered, “Janine, get off of the phone. I have my own job to do.” Janine frowned, put her hand over the phone, and said, “I’m on the phone with my kids!