Learning Experience Journal Entry #3: Essay

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When there is a conflict between any employees within the organization, the employees can go to HR for advice on how to proceed, either through company-based mediation or to seek other legal channels of redress if necessary. HR staff must be well-versed in the laws pertaining to employee conduct as well as the psychology of how persons interact daily in a hospital environment.

Another important component of HR leveraging its influence to improve recruitment and retention is providing counseling and support for nurses as they cope with the inevitable symptoms of nursing burnout. "Since the mid-1980s, however, nurses' work stress may be escalating due to the increasing use of technology, continuing rises in health care costs, and turbulence within the work environment" (Jennings 2008). Offering counseling to nurses, enabling them to balance their shifts with life demands, and attempting to instate fair and equitable compensation and leave policies are all essential. HR must ensure that nurses' hours comply with existing family leave regulations and that nurses who need to take time off for emotional and physical stress or reasonable accommodations are not penalized and are treated appropriately in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

In addition to staffing concerns, HR is also responsible for keeping nurses safe and must handle any OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) or related concerns. "It is suggested that occupational diseases and job-related mental or physical health problems should be continuously monitored as these problems may be linked to issues such as workers' compensation and nurse absenteeism.
Promoting healthy nurse workforces should be one of the priorities of individual human resource functions" (Tzeng & Yin 2009). For example, when nurses deal with communicable diseases, appropriate precautions must be in place to protect worker's health. It may be necessary to require that nurses get the seasonal flu shot, for example and deal with the legal objections that might arise if nurses dispute this policy.

Conclusion: Lessons learned

As can be imagined from these varied duties, HR personnel must walk a tightrope between satisfying the needs of individual nurses and the collective needs of the organization. Healthcare organizations are ultimately service organization and nurses are one of the main conduits of care. As well as the legal requirements that pertain to the treatment of all employees, HR must be knowledgeable of the law and unique demands placed upon healthcare workers. Leadership in this field of endeavor requires tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity, and a comprehensive understanding of what the organization can and should do, based upon legal, economic, and political constraints.

References

Jennings, Bonnie M. (2008). Work stress and burnout among nurses. From Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Maxwell, M. (2004). Recruitment realities. Medscape, 22(4). Retrieved:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/473681

Tzeng, H., & Yin, C. (2009). Historical trends in human resource issues of hospital nursing….....

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