Given the nature of their work, nurses are often required to work in shifts so that there is a smooth transition throughout the day since hospitals and other healthcare organizations provide 24-hour services. For most organizations, one of the best approaches for managing their human resource is arranging work shifts and night shifts. This allows for an organization with fewer employees to continue providing their services throughout the day as the employees will be categorized into hourly shifts on which they will be required to take turns with others and take some rest. Nurses are among the most affected by work shifts and night shifts in the healthcare sector. This exposes them to numerous occupational hazards as well as affecting their health and safety. This paper analyzes the impact of night shifts and work shifts on the roles played by nurses at St. Davids HealthCare in Austin, Texas.
St. Davids HealthCare employs a very innovative approach in providing healthcare services to Texan residents. The organization has a broad network of leading hospitals and other healthcare facilities that are located in Texas. Each of the hospitals on its network has highly advanced technology, qualified physicians, nurses and other employees trained to provide advances health services with utmost quality. The organization was founded in 1924 as a small not-for-profit organization serving the community of Austin, Texas. However, the company has grown and developed into a network of healthcare facilities providing some of the best and most specialized health services to locals.
Identify the Greatest Potential Risks to the Health and Well-Being in Nursing
The greatest potential risk to the wellbeing and health of nursing professional is the shiftwork, which requires nurses to operate in different shifts during a day. Nightshifts have a wide array of negative effects on employees in any organization. This is especially serious for mentally and emotionally demanding careers such as for nurses in busy international healthcare organizations like St. Davids HealthCare. Among some of these negative effects include health effects, fatigue, individual factors, sleeping difficulties, disruption of the internal body clock (circadian rhythms), social and family factors, and errors and accidents.
Evaluate the Individual and Organizational Consequences of These Risks
Health effects related to nightshift are mostly mental health challenges resulting from the stress and emotional drain of the employees as a result of working during strange hours. Consequently, mental health of airport workers affects the profitability of health institutions, patient safety, and undermines the key objectives of provision of transportation services. For the most part, mental health relies on employees relationships with colleagues at work. Therefore, it is quite evident that the workplace environment affects the mental wellbeing of transportation services providers in different settings.
There are many different types of mental health issues affecting contemporary organizational management practice in various working environments. These issues emanate from different sources. For instance, among the factors that trigger mental health challenges for employees include challenges with the task or job, breakdown in relationships with colleagues, organizational factors, personal problems in the life of the worker, as well as other individual factors such as the personality of the employee (Rathert, Williams, Lawrence, Halbesleben , 2012). In addition, there are specific issues within the workplace setting that contribute to the emergence of mental problems among employees. For example, high job strain, job insecurity, interpersonal problems such as bullying and discrimination, lack of recognition for good performance, and organizational justice, which refers to the flow of resources and information within the organization (Wright and Khatri, 2015).
These problems have paved way for many mental health disorders affecting employees within the workplace environment. Some of the most significant contemporary mental health issues affecting employees in the workplace include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, job stress, and low self-esteem (Rathert, Williams, Lawrence, Halbesleben , 2012). Anxiety is most likely to occur in instances of uncertain futures concerning job security in an organization. On the other hand, job stress and depression are likely to emanate from the tasks or the nature of the job itself. For instance, the employees may be required to work efficiently without adequate resources and long working hours during shifts among other factors. Also, low self-esteem may result from the relations between an employee with others in the workplace. For example, if one is discriminated against on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, or religion, it is likely to affect his or her esteem.
Several factors within the work environment account for the deterioration of mental health of airport workers. These factors may be classified as social, political, economic, and environmental factors. Social factors relate to the ability of an employee to interact with colleagues in a manner that aides his or her performance. The work environment must create a culture that promotes good social interactions among employees. Issues such as discrimination on any basis, violence, or psychological abuse in the workplace by fellow employees can affect ones mental wellbeing (Lewis, Yarker, Donaldson-Feilder, Flaxman, & Munir, 2010). On the other hand, political factors relate to the leadership and organizational factors that affect the performance of employees. Organizational management is a disciplined profession that is based on rules, codes of ethics and guiding principles that direct practitioner on how to execute their roles. However, some political factors can hinder effective performance of employees. For instance, poor communication structures and poor worker supervision policies can affect the performance of employees and impact on their mental wellbeing.
In addition, environmental factors are also crucial in discussing mental health of employees. These are factors associated with availability of resources in the workplace. Employees work efficiently if there are appropriate policies and resources available in their environment. Tools such as equipment like testing kits, employee and customer safety policies and general cleanliness can affect the mental attitude of employees to their duties (Lewis, Yarker, Donaldson-Feilder, Flaxman, & Munir, 2010). They may become anxious or depressed when required to perform better under such non-supportive conditions. Conversely, economic issues such as inadequate compensation can also affect the productivity of employees and their mental disposition in the workplace.
Despite the question of mental health of nurses being a common threat to provision of quality transportation services, there are several warning signs that can be identified early and responded to in good time. Identifying and interpreting these early signals for mental health deterioration among employees can go a long way in resolving some of the conflicts that contribute to worsening of mental wellbeing of employees (Lewis, Yarker, Donaldson-Feilder, Flaxman, & Munir, 2010). Some of these signs include absenteeism, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, and low vitality. These issues are not only related to the employees mental health, but also his or her lifestyle as well. Transportation services organization must put in place strong human resource management teams that will help in identifying such instances and respond to each issues appropriately.
Provide Recommendations for Minimizing These Impacts
Mental wellbeing of employees within the workplace is a critical aspect of human resource management and one way of improving productivity of employees. This is particularly crucial for nurses since the profession is emotionally demanding in terms of the relationships the nurses have with clients as well as amongst themselves. Some of the most common mental health problems in the workplace include depression, anxiety, mood swings, and low self-esteem. These problems can affect employee productivity in various ways including increased cases of absenteeism, alcohol and substance abuse, low vitality, and eating disorders.
Also, it is vital to note that these mental wellbeing concerns arise from various factors, most of which can be prevented. These include a wide range of political, social, environmental, and economic issues within the workplace (Brand, Fleming, and Wyatt, 2015). Nevertheless, organization can ensure good mental health of their employees by implementing several strategies that include instituting appropriate policies and mechanisms for dealing with issues of unrest, violence, health, and culture within the workplace.
Furthermore, programs such as team building, diversity training, resilience training, mentoring, and coaching programs can go a long way in helping resolve issues of deterioration if mental wellbeing of nurses (Timothy, Therese , & Pauline, 2004). Therefore, from the discussion above, it is clear that the workplace environment can have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of employees. Nonetheless, these issues can be identified and addressed in good time in order to avoid the organization from incurring huge losses.
Therefore, based on the analysis of the issues above, several recommendations can be developed to help improve the working environment of nurses at the airport. The first recommendation concerns the working hours (Brand, Fleming, and Wyatt, 2015). Efficient management of shiftwork requires that the employees manage their working hours per week in order to avoid being overworked, which can lead to fatigue. Therefore, it is important to reduce the number of working hours for the nurses on shiftwork per week.
Also, there is also the need to employ a rotation strategy where the nurses are rotated on different shifts. The other important guideline is providing enough period of rest before one changes over from one shift to the other.
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Lewis, R., Yarker, J., Donaldson-Feilder, E., Flaxman, P., & Munir, F. (2010). Using a competency-based approach to identify the management behaviors required to manage workplace stress in nursing: A critical incident study. International journal of nursing studies. 47(3), 307-313.
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