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In this situation, Judie is a nurse manager of her unit in a certain hospital for the previous decade. The hospital administration holds Judie in great regard. But, as the hospital's staffing levels have decreased, she has become less content and more frustrated with her job. In addition, Judie saw other institutional decisions about managed care as harmful and unneeded. She assigns nurses to specific patients as a nursing manager, but with staffing cuts, she bears the brunt of overworked nurses as the hospital must attend to an increasing number of patients who require nursing care. Judie feels like she is obliged to attend to the organization’s needs at the expense of staffs and patients. Considering her frustration and dissatisfaction, she contemplates on leaving the job, but she is held back by seniority, good benefits as well as her two children to support. Also, her distress at work is impacting on her family as she carries most of the frustration home with her.
Values in the Situation
As a caring profession, nursing encompasses connection with as well as empathy for people. There are various core nursing values, and they include integrity, human dignity autonomy, social justice, as well as altruism (Al-Banna, 2017). Any caring professional nurse is expected to integrate these values into clinical practice.
In the case provided, several values are evident. Among them include altruism, social justice, and human dignity. Altruism refers to the ability to be entirely selfless and also being committed or dedicated to the welfare of others. This value is particularly essential in the nursing profession as the nurse offers love and kindness, to both his or her patients and him/herself. In the case provided, it is evident the Judie is altruistic as she is concerned about the welfare of patients, as per her dissatisfaction and frustration as a result of staffing cut. As a nursing manager, Judie is charged with ensuring that her unit has adequate or at least a reasonable number of staffs who will consequently offer quality and timely services to patients. Her altruistic value is evident as she is concerned that reducing the number of staffs will compromise the services delivered. Besides, Judie is also kind and loves herself as well as she contemplates on leaving the job since it is causing unbearable distress. Judie's situation is impacting her personal life and family as it is indicated that she carries a lot of job frustration home with her.
The other value evident in the situation is human dignity, which in nursing, is demanded for all patients. It is evident that Judie regards all individuals as worthy and also deserving unrestricted respect. Such respect is regardless of health status, age, sex, ethnic or social factors, religious affiliations, criminal history, as well as political ideologies (Al-Banna, 2017). It is for this reason that she is concerned that lack of adequate staffs in her unit might be detrimental to ensuring the dignity of all people, i.e., patients, healthcare providers and herself. The other value is social justice, which entails endeavors by the nurse to promote the best interests of their clients, and further, strive to achieve the most appropriate outcomes. This value is evident as Judie considers attending to patients as the most rewarding part of her job.
The Values in the Situation that reflect my Personal Values
The values present in the case study are pertinent, and every nurse should reflect such. For instance, I reflect the three values in the scenario, i.e., altruism, social justice, and human dignity in my practice. As a nurse working with adults, the most significant value I exhibit is altruism. I always maintain calmness within myself when with patients in efforts to fully provide and support their security (Bruyneel, Li, Ausserhofer, & Lesaffre, 2015). An important aspect under this is that I ensure I prevent burnout and stress as these features may hinder the effective execution of my duties. Since I am committed to obtaining as well as securing such humanistic-altruistic values, I focus on showing unending love, mental awareness as well as kindness at all times as I am addressing the needs of patients.
The same applies to the value of human dignity, where I treat all people (patients in this case) as equal, regardless of external factors. The nursing principal of human dignity requires nurses to treat all patients with care, love, and kindness (Al-Banna, 2017), as I would treat my two boys. Since I work with adults, I ensure that the principle of respect is paramount in all my endeavors. The last value that reflects my personal values is social justice. In portraying this value, I ensure to uphold the freedom of choice when caring for my patients, and at the same time, I am on the lookout not to compromise their dignity. I always promote the best interests of my patients so that they can have the best outcomes and be satisfied with my medical services.
Conflicts likely to arise from these Values
Considering the values exhibited in the case provided (and also my personal nursing values), it is likely that conflicts will arise. The case indicates that the hospital administration has resorted to reduce the number of staffs in her unit. Besides, there are other decisions in the institution that are related to managed care, and this has far-reaching consequences on the quality of care provided to patients. The values of altruism, human dignity, and social justice are likely to be compromised by the decision to reduce the number of healthcare providers in the hospital (Bruyneel, Li, Ausserhofer, & Lesaffre, 2015). It is evident that Judie has been severely affected by the decision as it has compelled her to overlook the patients’ needs and on the contrary, meet the needs of the hospital.
A clash between the core values and the inappropriate institutional decisions will also lead to conflict with patients. As explained by Bruyneel et al., (2015), in any healthcare setting, patients expect to receive the best possible care at any given time. However, when the number of healthcare providers is disproportionate with the number of patients, the quality of care becomes questionable. Therefore, patients are likely to be dissatisfied as a relatively small number of staffs in the unit will lead to long waiting lines.
Specific Questions Associated with the Case
The case of Judie and the hospital’s administration raises various significant questions in relation to the quality of care provided by professional nurses. There is the question of the way forward when nurses are faced with the dilemma between adhering to hospital policies and meeting the needs of patients. In the case, Judie understands that reducing the number of staffs will lead to poor quality of services to patients, hence client dissatisfaction. It is this dilemma that compels her to consider leaving. The other question is about balancing work-related stress and family life. The distress Judie experiences at work is apparently affecting her family. Therefore, it is pertinent that nurses be supported in their place of work to ensure they are better placed to strike a balance between work and family. There is also the question of what is more valuable to a hospital between customer and staff satisfaction. This issue raises concerns over the essence of ensuring that hospital staffs are satisfied regarding salary, time, patient allocation, and overall well-being. In the case provided, Judie is held back by the seniority good benefits as well as the support she has to provide to her children.
The case presented describes the plight of a nurse manager, Judie, whose perspective towards her job is changed by the adverse institutional decisions implemented. Even though Judie has been committed to attending to the needs of patients, the decision to reduce the number of staffs in her unit has influenced her work as a nurse and a manager. The paper has evaluated three principal nursing values, i.e., human dignity, altruism, and social justice, with particular emphasis on how they relate to the provision of quality care to patients. The values have been ascertained to be of great essence when nurses are addressing the needs of patients. Of particular interest is the value of altruism. Nurses are expected to provide care that is in line with cultural beliefs, values, and practices. Therefore, altruism as a nursing value should be reflected by nurses, i.e., by being selfless and being dedicated to the welfare of other people.
Al-Banna, D. A. (2017). Core Professional and Personal Values of Nurses about Nursing in Erbil City Hospitals: A Profession, Not Just Career. Nursing & Care Open Access Journal, 6 (2), 1-6.
Bruyneel, L., Li, B., Ausserhofer, D., & Lesaffre, E. (2015). Organization of Hospital Nursing, Provision of Nursing Care, and Patient Experiences With Care in Europe. Medical Care Research and Review, 72 (6), 643-664.
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