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Development of a Dependable Aged Care Workforce

Nursing is one of the most interesting disciplines in the healthcare profession. As a professional, a nurse can serve in a wide range of areas including aged care, Primary Health Care, and palliative care. These are areas which heavily rely on the services of nurses who are used for providing essential services to the patients. For a nurse to effectively discharge the duties, a nurse should acquire and nurture essential skills and competencies such as communication, therapeutic care, cultural intelligence, just to mention, but a few. These are skills and competencies which can prepare one to be an ideal aged care nurse whose services can be relied upon to improve the health of patients. Strategic management is a concept which should be applied by the management when planning to improve the quality of services and accomplish the organizational goals. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the adoption of a strategic health workforce in the improvement of the competencies of aged care nurses.  

Strategic planning is a very significant activity that should be undertaken in the healthcare sector. It can be of great contribution if appropriately applied in the aged care sector. Strategic planning can help in the identification of an important issue which needs to be resolved in the organization. For the organization to succeed, it should be capable of analyzing its position to identify the improvements to make (Adler, 2012). The development of a dependable workforce has been identified to be the strategic workforce issue of concern. Just like any other organization, the facility is looking forward to establishing the aged care facility of choice in the country.

The rationale for this issue is that it will enable the management to establish a team of competent nurses. Since its establishment, the organization has managed to create a good name as a reputable aged care facility in the region. However, this reputation has been declining because of the deterioration of the quality of services rendered. Therefore, by considering this as an important issue, tremendous steps will be made towards the improvement of the quality of services provided (Jerome, 2013). The adoption of appropriate changes will help in improving the competence of the nurses and make them to deliver high quality and satisfactory services to the patients. If this happens, there will be no more complaints which have been lodged by the patients who fault the organization for failing to address all the concerns of the patients because of the incompetence of some of the nursing staff (Haux, Winter, Ammenwerth & Brigl, 2013). The aged patients have lots of issues which need to be effectively addressed by the nurses. Therefore, any nurse who is given a chance to serve in the aged care should be adequately prepared and improved over time.

Goals and Objectives

The competency of nurses should be considered as a strategic workforce issue of concern because it will help in the acquisition and horning the culture of team work and collaboration amongst the nurses. Team work is one of the core skills in nursing. It should therefore be applied by the entire nurse who is interested in serving the public. Team work can help in the improvement of the aged care nurses in different ways (Osborn, Moulds, Schneider, Doty, Squires & Sarnak, 2015). Most importantly, team work can give nurses an opportunity to share ideas. The nurses in the aged care facility should be encouraged to embrace team work because it can enable them to collaborate, share opinions, compare notes, and refer complex issues that require more specialized care. In fact, the spirit of collaboration should not only be restricted within the nursing profession (Radu, 2013). It should be extended to other disciplines since nurses are required to adopt an inter-disciplinary collaboration when attending to patients. It can be of great contribution in the delivery of nursing services to the aged.   

The other rationale for this choice is that it will instill the spirit of therapeutic care in the nursing staff. Therapeutic care is a competence which should be possessed b y the nurses who deliver services to the aged because these are patients who require holistic care which can address the physical, spiritual, social, and mental challenges faced (Manzoor, 2012). The aged require the nurses to establish a god rapport with them because they have complex health problems which need much attention to be effectively handled. Therefore, with the adoption of this paper, the issue of therapeutic care will be treated with all the seriousness that it deserves. If properly adopted, therapeutic competencies will enable the nurses to establish a good relationship with the aged patients and adequately meet their needs no matter how complex it might be (Tweedie & Holley, 2016). These are the skills whose improvement will guarantee exceptional services to the aged patients. 

The delivery of services to the aged patients requires a lot of competence. All the nurses who are responsible for caring for the aged patients should be ready to deliver the services which can satisfy the patients irrespective of their conditions. However, the nurses who serve at the facility have not been diligently discharging their duties because of the fact that they have been demonstrating some degree of incompetency which can be handled if appropriate measures are taken. It is for this reason that incompetence has been identified to be an issue of strategic workforce issue of concern (Shih, Youg & Bucher, 2013). It can be instrumental in transforming the organization and enabling it to achieve its goals and become a leading player in the aged care sector.  All in all, the issue is expected to accomplish the following goals.

First and foremost, the issue is expected to address the persistent problem of incompetence in the organization. In the recent past, patients have been complaining because of low quality services provided to them by the nurses. A large number of nurses have not been meeting the expectation of the patients because they lack the prerequisite skills to use in assessing the patients, understanding their needs, before taking the most appropriate measures to address the situation. The poor performance of the nurses is an issue which should not be condoned because it does not bring any benefit at all. It makes the patients to be dissatisfied because the level of services rendered is far much below the expectation. These are challenges which will be ultimately resolved if the new changes are made (Frederickson & Ghere, 2013). It will be of a great benefit to the organization because it will help in sharpening the skills of the nurses who are relied upon to serve the elderly patients who.

Besides, the strategic issue will help in improving the quality of services provided by the facility. Just like any other healthcare facility, the organization should be at the fore front of delivering satisfactory services to its patients (Huarng & Ribeiro-Soriano, 2014). Once it has decided to settle on the elderly, it should be upon the organization to avail the services which can help satisfying all the patients. It is an important thing to do by the organization. Therefore, after identifying all the weaknesses and incompetence in the nurses, the management should come up with strategies to ensure that the nurses improve their skills (Kim, Lee, Chun & Benbasat, 2014). For example, if it is found out that the nurses have poor communication skills, the management should come up with the strategies which can help in sharpening the skills so as to enable them to make the necessary adjustments. Such improvements are necessary because they can make the nurses to possess the right degree of competence which can enable them to win the confidence of the patients.

Last, but not least, the strategic issue will be instrumental in guaranteeing the success of the organization. As a profit-making facility, the organization is primarily concerned about the generation of profits. However, this is something which cannot be accomplished if the employees are not competent enough to deliver satisfactory services to the clients (Chhokar, Brodbeck & House, 2013). Such challenges will be ultimately resolved if the organization adopts the new plan because improved service-delivery will win the trust of the clients, increase the number of patients, and the overall performance of the organization. Meaning, the end result will be the success of the organization. When the nurses possess communication, therapeutic, and collaborative skills, they will definitely provide exceptional services which will help in making the organization to be the best and preferred alternative in the market (Healy, Harrison & Foster, 2015). This is the goals which all the organizations aspire to accomplish because it greatly determines their sustainability, stability, and prosperity.

The implementation of the strategic issue will be of great contribution to the organization because it will help it to transform itself by resolving the inefficiencies which have been hindering it from achieving its short and long-term goals. However, to succeed in its efforts to address the identified issue, the management should apply the most appropriate evidence-based strategies in its implementation.

The first strategy to apply is to provide adequate training to the nurses who are involved in the provision of aged care services at the facility. As already hinted, a large number of nurses have not been able to satisfy the needs of the clients because of incompetence (Getz & Page, 2016). Hence, to address the issue, the management should introduce a training program for all the nurses. It can enable the management to equip the nurses with the skills which can be used in attending to all sorts of patients. The management can implement the training program by offering induction to the newly recruited staff and organizing for periodical seminars, workshops, retreats, and conferences in which the nurses can get an opportunity to acquire new knowledge which can be used to improve on their skills (Ward & Peppard, 2016). When this is done as expected, the nurses will get to acquire the important skills which can enable them to satisfy the diverse needs of patients.

Besides, the management should address the issue by restructuring the organization. The restructuring program can be implemented by changing the organizational culture of high productivity and only allowing the employees who can fit into the system. On the other hand, the management should consider creating a department to exclusively handle employee welfare. The new department should work in conjunction with the Human Resources Department to come up with the strategies which can be applied in the management of nurses by monitoring their performance, competence, and weaknesses before coming up with responsive measures to address them (Hill, Jones & Schilling, 2014). The work of the new department should be to assess the performance of the nurse and recommend the most appropriate strategies which can be applied in the improvement of the skills. At the same time, the department should be staffed by experts who are capable of conducting research which can be relied upon to provide important information on how to boost the morale of the nurses, improve their performance, and make them adapt to the new changes in the healthcare sector (Hayes, Douglas & Bonner, 2015). This strategy can also be of great help if applied in the resolving of the issue of incompetence of the nursing staff at the facility.  

Change is an important process which should be undertaken in any organization. It can help in creating a new environment to appropriately respond to the situation and brining the desirable developments in an organization. However, the change process is always not smooth because it usually faces a myriad of challenges such as a resistance from the anti-change forces both within and out of the organization (McClellan, et al., 2014). This is similar to what the facility might experience when it implements the proposed change strategies.

The implementation of the new changes might be hindered by the resistance of certain quotas which are opposed to the new plans. The new changes will have to face a resistance from the stakeholders who are opposed to the new changes because of the feeling of uncertainty. The people who fear that the new changes will threaten their survival in the organization will not support the initiative (Baden & Higgs, 2015). They are expected to fiercely oppose it because if it is successfully implemented, they might lose their jobs or the privileges that they have been enjoying in the company. This kind of resistance can be received from the individual employees and the management as well. The resistance is unwarranted because it can derail the implementation process for the new changes. However, to address this challenge, the management should apply appropriate strategies when introducing and implementing the new changes.  The first strategy to adopt is to communicate the planned changes to all the employees and other stakeholders who will be affected by the changes. Everyone should be told that change is necessary and must be done because it will enable the organization to move to the next level. Secondly, the management should involve the participation of all the stakeholders. This can be done by seeking for the opinion of the employees and other stakeholders who are concerned about the changes. If this is done, the management will not find it challenging to introduce the changes because they will be fully-supported by everyone.

The implementation can also be affected by the inadequacy of resources. Change is an extensive process which requires adequate preparation. It requires money to be used for facilitation, logistics, acquisition of supplies, and coordinating all the stakeholders who are, in one way or the other, indirectly or directly involved in the change process. At the same time, change process requires time resources. Time is required for the planning, preparation, implementation, and evaluation of the change process. However, despite the significant contribution of these resources, they might not be adequate enough to enable the process to be successful as anticipated. Should this be the case, the change process can be seriously hindered since each of these resources is necessary because they are mandatory requirements. In order to facilitate the implementation of the issue, the management should resolve these challenges. To do so, the management should avail enough resources that can properly sustain the process without any inefficiency. Enough time and money should be made available for use during the entire process. If this happens, the change process can be effectively done without facing unnecessary obstacles.   

Conclusion

Strategic planning is essential in health care. The management should always be concerned about the improvement of the quality of services because it can determine the overall success of the organization. In the aged care facility, there should be highly trained and competent professionals who can be relied upon to provide perfect holistic care to the elderly. It is for this reason that the Development of a Dependable Aged Care Workforce was identified as a strategic health issue to be addressed by the management. The facility should have competent practitioners who can appeal to the patients and win their confidence at all times. Therefore, to accomplish these goals, the management should implement the new changes by addressing all the challenges faced by coming up with appropriate strategies. this can help in facilitating the change process and make it successful as expected.

References

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