On Integrity by Zig Ziglar
Major surgery requires not only a skilled surgeon, but also a number of skilled assistants to make certain that everything happens as it should. They function as a team. No one person, regardless of how brilliant he or she is, could pull off a major operation alone.
A new head nurse was starting her first assignment in a major medical center. She was in charge of all the nurses on the operating room team. She had full responsibility for performing all the duties nurses perform. When the surgery was complete, the surgeon said, "Okay, it's time to close the incision. I need the sutures."
The new head nurse responded, "Doctor, you used twelve sponges; we've only removed eleven." The surgeon assured her that all of the sponges had been removed and he was ready to suture. She replied, "Doctor, you used twelve sponges; only eleven have been removed."
With a bit of irritation in his voice, the doctor said, "I will accept full responsibility. " The nurse's temper flew and she apparently stomped her foot and said, "Doctor, think of the patient!"
When she said that, the doctor smiled, lifted his foot and revealed the twelfth sponge. He looked at the nurse and said, "You'll do." Her integrity had been tested; she passed with flying colors.
The question is, how many of us, under identical circumstances, would have risked offending the surgeon, remembering that there was a possibility we had miscounted? But this nurse felt the patient's life and health were at stake and she, without hesitation, did the right thing. Over the long haul, that's the best way to get to the top and stay there.
-- Zig Ziglar