HealthCare is a dynamic sector. It is prone to lots of changes and challenges that need to be constantly addressed. This proves that health care is a true reflection of the society which is not static, but prone to lots of changes. When an individual makes a choice to join the healthcare profession, one expects to enjoy the benefits of it offers. However, this does not usually happen because of one or more challenges experienced by practitioners. This paper presents a candid and critical analysis of a reflection on high workloads; poor working environments; stress and burnouts; and poor pay and low status of the healthcare professionals.
One of the major challenges faced by the healthcare professionals is the high workloads. When one successfully completes training and gets privileged to be employed, one is expected to perform a wide range of roles. Although the roles and responsibilities performed depends on the specialty and job ranks, basically, practitioners are expected to handle patients and effectively address their needs. However, this has become a strenuous duty because many practitioners have been complaining of high workloads. A large number of employers have been overworking their staff (Eisele, Grohnert, Beausaert & Segers 2013). A part from allocating them too many tasks, healthcare providers can be compelled to work for longer hours. Worse still, the practitioners can be given additional duties when called upon to attend to emergency cases.
From my personal journal, I observed that the high workload of the clinical staff is a reality. On many occasions, I noted down that the healthcare providers are given so many duties to perform. For example, the nurses are expected to provide primary care services such as assessment, diagnosis, monitoring, and supervision of the patients’ progress. These are heavy tasks that require the nurses to be so active. The employers do not apply the principles of division of labor in the healthcare facilities (Bates, et al 2013). Although each practitioner should be assigned one single task to perform, this does not happen. Instead, practitioners are expected to be all-round professionals who can be called upon to perform different kinds of responsibilities.
The other observation I made is that the healthcare providers are given a heavy workload by forcing them to work for longer hours. I was surprised to realize that the employer does not care about the welfare of the practitioners. Although the government has set standards to be followed, the employers always flout such regulations because it does not serve their interests. As a result of this, employees are instructed to report in time, stay longer at the facilities and handover their duties only after exploiting their full potential (Donato & Segal 2013). Personally, I have been a victim of this practice because it has affected me several times. One day, after completing my duties, I was instructed to extend my stay at the hospital so as to replace my colleague had not reported to duty because of family commitments. Although I complied, I felt that it was an unfair thing to be done to me.
Indeed, this is a valid observation because it depicts a true picture of the healthcare sector. The overloading of healthcare personnel is a persistent practice that has been in existent for quite a long time. From my experience, the practice owed its origin to a number of reasons. First, there are no enough healthcare professionals in most of the healthcare facilities. Many employees are overworked because of the understaffing of the healthcare facilities. This is exactly what is going on in my organization. Over the years, my employer has been accused of understaffing the organization (Eisele, Grohnert, Beausaert & Segers 2013). There are a few personnel who cannot effectively discharge all the tasks. Besides, the practice of work overloads had been blamed on the laxity of the government and labor unions. Whereas the government has failed to come up with stringent policies, the trade unions have failed to efficiently advocate for the welfare of the healthcare personnel.
The other challenge facing the healthcare personnel is poor working environments. One of the reasons why people prefer certain employers is the working environment. Ideally, a working environment should be a safe place that can appeal to and accommodate all the employees regardless of their diversities. A safe working environment is good for the employees and clients as well (Bates, et al 2013). However, many employers have not done a great job of establishing a good environment for the employees.
From my daily recordings, I concluded that the issue of poor working environment is a reality in the healthcare sector. An objective observation of the organization enabled me to know how poor a workplace can be. I hold the view that my organization is has a poor working environment because it has poor infrastructure. When I looked at the buildings, I realized that they are old, dilapidated and unrepaired. The buildings do not have good windows because some of the window panes are broken. At the same time, the buildings are not properly painted as expected (Healy, Harrison & Foster 2015). When it rains, the water filters on the patients and the practitioners serving them. I was surprised that my organization has got such kind of facilities. The toilets are not clean and safe for usage. Some of them are leaking and smelling. At the same time, the employees are not made comfortable because they do not have enough parking spaces.
Worse still, I realized that the workplace is lacking occupational safety measures. Despite the poor state of the facilities, the management has not taken any measures to guarantee the safety of the employees in the organization. The work environment is not safe for the employees because there are so many cases of injuries suffered by the personnel and clients. This shows that the management has not come up with safety measures to protect the employees from any dangers that might be experienced in line of duty (Manzoor 2012). It means that the employer is not concerned about the welfare of the employees. Healthcare services should be offered in a safe environment. However, the presence of such facilities has made it quite difficult for the healthcare providers to effectively discharge their duties. It has demoralized the employees and made them to lose confidence in the management because of the feeling that the environment in which they operate is not conducive for them.
The healthcare also faces a challenge of stress and burnout. Although it is a lucrative sector, many employees complain of high levels of stress that emanate from the tasks performed on daily basis. In the workplace, there are so many things that make employees to experience stress and burnout. For example, the amount of work done by the employees can make them to experience lots of stress. As human beings, the healthcare personnel should be provided with a good environment to operate. However, this does not always happen because many employers do not care much about the staff (Tuononen, Suominen & Lammintakanen 2016). The employees can be subjected to long working hours, poor working conditions, and many other injustices that can make them to feel stressed. However, this is a bad tendency that has deprived the employees of the peace of mind that they always deserve.
In my journal, I established that the employees in my organization are not protected from stress. A large number employee has been expressing their stressful experiences undergone when serving the organization. I found out that the high levels of stress amongst the employees are caused by the high workloads. The management has been piling too much pressure on the healthcare personnel to work so hard. However, the staff is not only expected to work hard, but to remain on duty for the longest time possible. After reporting for duty, the personnel are expected to remain in the office for at least 8 hours (Hayes, Douglas & Bonner 2015). During this time, the employees are allocated numerous tasks that are suppose3d to be effectively attended to. For example, a single employee can be required to multitask and attend to more than one patient at ago. This is a very stannous task that causes lots of stress and fatigue to the employees.
I recorded that the stressful experiences undergone by the employees is caused by the employer. The employer should be held accountable because it has failed to effectively discharge its role of safeguarding the welfare of the employees. For example, many employees feel stressed because of long working hours. This has been caused by the failure of the management to hire adequate staff for the organization. The management has been engaging in retrenchments and job cuts instead of hiring more employees to address the problem of understaffing (Shields, et al 2015). The problem of understaffing cannot be effectively resolved by employing part-time employees. Instead, the management should have enough full-time employees on whom it can rely at all times. Healthcare personnel like mental care providers should be provided with excellent working conditions so as to enable them discharge their duties stress-free.
The healthcare professionals have been dealing with the problem of low and poor status in the workplace. It is disheartening for the healthcare providers to have such a feeling because it makes them to be demoralized in their career. As already hinted, health care is one of the most lucrative careers in the society. Therefore, when one makes a choice to pursue a career in health care, one looks forward to a brighter future. This implies that they should be given attractive remuneration packages, dignified, recognized by the employer, and respected by the society at large (Parker 2014). However, this does not always happen because the healthcare providers are not given the kind of treatment that they deserve.
In the daily journal that I wrote throughout the semester, I discovered that the healthcare providers are actually enjoying a poor and low status in the workplace. Many at times, I recorded that the healthcare providers have been complaining of low pay. The employer has not been doing his work of providing the staff with the right amount of remuneration that they deserve. The workers have been getting low salaries, allowances, and benefits (Roslan, Manaf, Filzatun & Azahadi 2014). The rates offered do not reflect the market rates because they are far much lower. When it comes to allowances, the employees do not get as much allowance as expected. Even when they are called upon to work overtime and attend to emergency cases, the personnel do not get commensurate allowances.
The low status of the employees is seen in the way they are trained. If the healthcare providers were highly placed, they would be equipped with high training services to enable them acquire excellent skills to use in day-to-day operations. However, this does not happen because the employees are provided with little training that mainly covers the basic skills. Worse still; the employees are not given opportunities to advance their careers. In most cases, the employer does not promote the workers and deny them the support they need to advance their careers through further studies (O’Connor, Borkowski & Kemp 2015). There are no serious in-house trainings provided to the employees. In case any training is organized, it does not benefit the employees as expected because it only concentrates on basic, but not fundamental skills like leadership which can increase the chances of prosperity in the career.
In conclusion, healthcare sector is perceived to be a lucrative sector. Many people hold the view that health care is a lucrative sector, in which there are favorable working conditions, attractive remuneration packages, effective managerial system, incentives, enjoyable benefits, timely promotions, and career advancement opportunities. However, the journals proved otherwise. Many employees have found it challenging to perform their tasks. The issue of high workload, poor working environment, stresses, and low status has made life to be so difficult for the employees. All these should be addressed.
Bates, L. F., et al., 2013, Pediatric Dentists' Job Satisfaction: Results of a National Survey. Pediatric dentistry, 35(4), 343-350.
Donato, R. & Segal, L., 2013, Does Australia have the appropriate health reform agenda to close the gap in Indigenous health?. Australian Health Review, 37(2), pp.232-238.
Eisele, L., Grohnert, T., Beausaert, S., & Segers, M., 2013, Employee motivation for personal development plan effectiveness. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(6), 527-543.
Healy, K., Harrison, G., & Foster, M., 2015, Job satisfaction and workforce retention of newly qualified social work and community services workers: An Australian pilot study. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 17(1), 8.
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