The Stress of Caring

1845 Words Jun 25th, 2012 8 Pages
The Stress of Caring

Learning Goals

One of the most consistent changes in the structure of work over the past few decades has been a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. More workers are now engaged in jobs that include providing care and assistance, especially in education and medicine. This work is satisfying for some people, but it can also be highly stressful. In the following scenario, consider how a company in the nursing care industry is responding to the challenges of the new environment.

Major Topic Areas

* Stress * Organizational change * Emotions * Leadership

The Scenario

Parkway Nursing Care is an organization facing a massive change. The company was founded in
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Parkway has always had outstanding patient care, and no substantiated claim of abuse or neglect in any of its homes has ever been made, but the need for increased documentation will still affect the company. As the federal government tries to trim Medicare expenses, Parkway may face a reduction in funding.

The Problem

As growth has continued, Parkway has remained committed to providing dignity and health to all residents in its facilities. The board of directors wants to see renewed commitment to the firm’s mission and core values, not a diffusion of its culture. Its members are worried there might be problems to address. Interviews with employees suggest there’s plenty to worry about.

Shift leader Maxine Vernon has been with Parkway for 15 years. “Now that the government keeps a closer eye on our staffing levels, I’ve seen management do what it can to keep positions filled, and I don’t always agree with who is hired. Some of the basic job skills can be taught, sure, but how to care for our patients—a lot of these new kids just don’t pick up on that.”

“The problem isn’t with staff—it’s with Parkway’s focus on filling the beds,” says nurse’s aide Bobby Reed. “When I started here, Parkway’s reputation was still about the service. Now it’s about numbers. No one is intentionally negligent—there just are too many patients to see.”

A recent college

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