According to Robbins et al ‘one of the most well-documented facts is that organisations and their members resist change’ (2004, p. 570). This was no exception within Nepean Hospital.
The individuals resisted the change by not wanting to put the Hover Mats underneath the patients because they found it a hassle, they forgot, or they thought it could be bad for the patients. Furthermore, they resisted the concept that every patient being physically transferred from a bed to a chair must have a Hover Mat based on their habit of lifting, which had been developed over years of physically lifting patients, when required. The fear of the unknown was another factor of individual resistance. According to Robbins et al, ‘change substitutes ambiguity and uncertainty for the known’ (2004, p.572). In this case, people who had used the equipment before were not only unsure as to how to use it, but feared the concept of using it.
The groups of people resisted the change based on the erroneous cultural belief that ‘if you can’t lift you shouldn’t be a nurse.’ There was the cultural view from the older nurses that the young nurses are weak, and that the use of devices such as hover mats are further proving how weak the next generation of nursing is becoming. This, in turn, caused conflict, and degradation of the organisational team to individual groups. Based on this cultural belief, groups resisted the change, based more on group inertia than individual beliefs. This inertia was further developed by many union norms viewing the product as the organisation’s method of ‘passing the buck’ or putting the onus of a back injury on the individual employee.
The organisation, although promoting the new device, refused to pay for enough Hover Mats to be used by every patient, while putting the blame back on the individuals to ‘use the hover mats where needed or be liable for the injury you sustain.’