Case 46: Sleeping on the Job: A Managerial Challenge
Marty is an African American nurse who has worked in a major university hospital for over six years evaluating patients’ rehabilitation needs. She used to have an autonomous job making patient visits in area city hospitals; however, two years ago her role in the hospital changed, and she is now working Monday through Friday in an office. Three years ago Marty’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and is now dependent in every aspect of care. In view of the fact that the health of both of Marty’s parents has been declining, she decided to move them into a spare room in her home. She hired caregivers to manage her parents’ needs during the work day, but has no additional help or relief after work hours or on weekends.
Marty’s officemates and supervisor have noticed that for well over a year now she has been coming into work late and leaving early every day. While she is “working” at her desk she is seen sleeping and heard snoring loudly by her coworkers multiple times daily. On multiple occasions the other nurses in the office tried to speak with Marty to let her know that she was sleeping and that they were concerned for her health. She stated that she had a sleep study done in the past, was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and has a C-pap machine but doesn’t like to use it. “It makes too much noise.” A couple of the nurses in the office gossip behind Marty’s back stating that they are tired of picking up the slack and doing her job while she is getting paid not to work.
The nurses perceive that Marty is lazy and is taking advantage of her personal situation as her mother’s caregiver. “We all have a life, kids, family, and other obligations and I am here doing my job!” In addition to sleeping at work, Marty’s supervisor has had multiple complaints from the hospital case managers asking for another nurse to assist them with discharges and patient placements due to her lack of performance and communication.
There are other performance issues, as Marty calls in sick often, with one sick call lasting a week or more. Even though the hospital policy allows for three paid days, when her sister passed, she took off three weeks for bereavement. To make matters worse, when she returned to work she didn’t thank her coworkers for covering her assignment. Six months after her sister passed away, Marty went on disability for over 12 weeks for complaints of back pain only to return to work wearing high heels. And, most recently she was off for four weeks for bunion surgery during the holiday season. Marty’s supervisor has been made aware multiple times that this negative behavior has created a hostile work environment.
USE INFORMATION FROM CASE TO DO A WRITE UP (PLEASE INCLUDE DETAILED EXPLANATION AND COMPLETE ALL 6 STEPS)
1 - Write a background statement
2- What are the major problems and secondary issues?
3- Your Role
4- Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses
5- Alternatives and Recommended Solution
THEIR IS AN EXAMPLE BELOW OF HOW THIS SHOULD LOOK!!!!
A Wiccan patient who visited a nondenominational community hospital was discussing her religious beliefs with her primary care nurse, Penny Baker, when suddenly another nurse, Ruth Goose, walked into the conversation and rudely stated, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch amongst you.” The Wiccan nurse felt offended and complained that she was discriminated in the hospital because of her religious beliefs.
Major Problems and Secondary Issues
The major problem is that the two nurses, Penny Baker and Ruth Goose, made the patient feel unwelcomed in the nondenominational community hospital because of her Wiccan religious beliefs. The secondary issues that the nondenominational community hospital may face is that the Wiccan patient is threatening to go to the media. This means that there may be news coverage that your hospital engages in religious discrimination. This may make people, especially Wiccans, look down on your medical services.
In this case, I am the Vice President of Nursing Services. As stated in the text, it writes, “You are the Vice President of Nursing Services in a nondenominational community hospital, and you receive a complaint from a patient, who is a Wiccan.” The advantages of this role are that I can sit down with Penny and Ruth to let them know that religious discrimination is not to be tolerated while we are caring for the patients. The disadvantages of this role are that I must decide how I am going to discuss this matter with Penny and Ruth because they’re passionate about being against the Wiccan patient. I need to let Penny and Ruth know that our patient’s care matters above everything else, not what religion they practice.
Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses
As the Vice President of Nursing Services, my strengths are that I can hold a training on racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. This training can supplement nurses with the information they need to work in a diverse environment. Nurses need to know that they must treat their patients justly despite their identity. The weaknesses I may face are that the two nurses are very religious themselves. They may not listen to what I have to say about religious discrimination because the two nurses try to justify their act by saying, “She did the right thing. We don’t have to pray with witches. They worship Satan. It’s blasphemy. What’s next? Human sacrifice?”
Alternatives and Recommended Solution
As a solution for this problem, I will make sure to provide all the nurses working in the hospital with diversity training. It is important that I sit down with the nurses and make it clear that discrimination will not be tolerated while they are working in our hospital. I can also offer every patient visiting the hospital with a survey. The patient can fill out the survey to let us know how they felt about their stay. Nurses who’ve been accused of any sort of discrimination, will have to speak with management. We would keep these incidences of discrimination in a file, and it the dilemma does not change, I would have to begin writing up the nurses. Discrimination would not be tolerated while the patient is in the hospital trying to recover from a medical condition. I would also recommend Penny and Ruth write an official letter of apology to the Wiccan patient before she decides to go to the media. Writing the official letter of apology would be my first recommended solution to Penny and Ruth, so that the patient does not feel unwelcomed to our hospital’s services in the future.
If there are enough surveys to prove that our medical treatment is getting better and there are less patients coming from the patients about discrimination, then I would know that the instances of discrimination have stopped. The goal is to aid in the medical recovery of patients. Patients must also feel welcomed to our hospital services despite their identity. By getting fewer, or even better, no discrimination complaints, I would know that my diversity trainings and meetings have worked.
Background statement :
Marty who has worked in major University hospital for over six years evaluating patient rehabilitation needs. Two years ago her hospital role has changed to Monday through Friday in a office. In this case Marty, and her family, her co-workers, supervisor and case manager were involved. The supervisor and the case manager in charge in making the decision with what happen to Marty and her job position. Marty has a lot of experience working in medical field. She is going through a family problem and due to that stress she used to sleep while on job and not doing work what she suppose to do. She also took advantage of the sick days and took too many days off from work. The rest of the staff feel that they are doing her job and she gets paid to sleep on the job.
Major problems and secondary issues :
The major problem in this case is that Marty co-worker feels that they are tired of doing extra works while Marty sleeps but not doing her work. The secondary problem is that Marty is taking too many sick days off, this secondary problem can turn into a major problem because Marty is over using her sick days and wanting the hospital to take pity in her but still pay her to do the bare minimum and sleep on the job.
Your role :
In this case, the role that should address the major problem are Marty supervisor and case manager. The supervisor have to communicate with Marty and rule out their issues and allow times schedule to Marty duty according to her wish if organizational policies allows, should decide what Marty position is, what she suppose to do, and penalize her for taking off for many days and taking advantage of her situation.
Organizational strength and weakness :
Organizational strength are they are very concerned about Marty health and had recommended different options for her. Organizational weakness is the supervisor has not brought it up to her attention no matter how many complaints received from nurse and the case manager put in.
Alternatives and recommended solution :
An alternative for Marty is to find a relief to take care of her parents even after she gets home from work as well as asking to work less days and finding time to sleep and relay more. A recommended solution is, Marty should referred to employee assistance programme that will help in identifying, assisting, resolving personal problems which may be adversely affecting employee performance. Advise her that all of the human beings having their own personal problem. But when we are in work place we have to be punctual, maintain all standard and follow all the organization policies and should organize her situation better and stop taking advantage of her situation and advantage of co-worker.
This solution can be evaluated by having her sleep study, determine how well she sleeps after reducing her days of work and stress. Another way this can be evaluated by having co-worker feedbacks how well she has been doing and what she still needs and instead of talking behind her back, they should help her get better with her situation.
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