Nursing – Health Service Management
Grove & Gray
This assignment falls under Nursing which was successfully solved by the assignment writing experts at Assignment Hippo Experts under assignment help service.
You have been seconded to the Health Workforce Unit of your health service by the Chief Executive Officer to assist with workforce planning efforts to improve retention and encourage recruitment of nurses in the aged care services provided by the health service. Your immediate supervisor has tasked you to write a paper for the Board and Health Service Executive Group relating to a strategic health workforce issue relating to aged care.
Select one of the health workforce issues listed below. When you have selected the workforce issue that you wish to explore in this assignment, research, analyse and produce an academic paper of 2,500 words on the health workforce issue. Your submission must address the following:
Strategic Workforce Issues (select only one of these for your assignment)
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Question 2: Development of an adaptable aged care workforce that is equipped with the required competencies and support to provides a team-based and collaborative model of care.
Australia has a significant number of senior citizens in requiring residential and home-based care such as the population with dementia. The majority of the senior citizens need patient-centered care since they are unable to take care of themselves while others live with critical health conditions. With their number growing exponentially, the core objective of residential and home-based care services is increasingly becoming critical as well as expensive to address their needs. The aged care workforce serves as a key element in the enhancement of quality services as well as addressing each patient needs. However, research indicates that the availability and quality of future care in settings with senior citizens will face significant threats due to different aspects such as the inability of the workforce to adapt to the elderly care needs (Pesapane, 2013). Additionally, the needs of the elderly population demand better competencies as well as support to enhance team-based and collaborative model of care within their last days. In any healthcare setting, achieving optimal care as well as increasing the quality of care provided, team or collaborative approach to care is necessary to enable the care providers to address all the patient needs as well as address other issues such as workload and relationships (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015). To achieve the objectives of the aged care, improve productivity and addressing workforce issues, the implementation of evidence-based strategies and management changes is necessary as well as aligning the care provided with relevant concepts and theories.
Rationale of being a Strategic Issue
According to a survey by Ravenswood, Doughlas & Teo (2014) on the aged care workforce, there exist significant differences in the care providers and the patient needs which is influenced by some factors such as the workforce competence, workload, adversarial relationships and poor management issues among others. At a time when the elderly population is increasing and requiring access to quality services, the workforce becomes a critical part; however, they must have the necessary skills and abilities to deliver patient-centered care such as teamwork skills. The achievement of positive outcomes is dependent on the prior workforce training or education as well as their qualifications and attributes to provide quality services to the aged population (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015). The aged care workforce lacks the necessary competencies and support that can help them adapt to the needs of the elderly people in the settings. Research indicates that the aged care workforce impacts greatly on the senior citizens since they are vulnerable to different health problems. Hence, a commitment from the care providers and adequate skills are necessary to address their complex care needs (Pesapane, 2013).
Ravenswood, Doughlas & Teo (2014) identifies the teamwork or collaboration skills as some of the essential elements required for the workforce caring for the senior citizens. The competence is based on the premise that the population suffers from different health needs such as dementia among others which require specialized care. Additionally, collaboration or teamwork provides the basis for involving the patients in their care as well as guarantee positive outcomes. As the demand pressures increase, there is a need for a larger number of aged care workforce to maintain the ratios as well as achieve quality care. Building the skills and redesigning the roles of the old workforce in residential and home-based care is critical to ensure they are adaptable to the increasingly complex needs of the older people. It’s estimated that the number of aged workforce in Australia will continue to rise in the new few years as well as their health needs creating the need to have high skilled workers with the ability to collaborate with others in providing care (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015).
Labor shortages is also a critical issue facing the aging population since the aged will always need support to meet their needs that often lead to psychological problems as well as behavioral manifestation. A workforce that is devoid of the ability to engage the senior citizens or establish close relationships increases the risk of inappropriate care that can promote positive outcomes. In a survey done in 2014 on the aged workforce a majority of the workers lack the ability to improve their skills to meet future demands and requirements of the senior citizens (Ravenswood, Doughlas & Teo, 2014). Additionally, most of them experience increased workload and poor job satisfaction limiting their ability to deliver quality services that meet their needs. Poor competencies restrict the ability of the workers to provide quality services. In this regard, different areas can be addressed to improve the quality of services provided to the aged population as well as increase the workforce job satisfaction. Workforce development, attraction, and retention are some of the key aspects that are necessary for the aged people residential settings to ensure the staffs are well prepared to assist the elderly people (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015).
Theoretical Principles and Concepts related to the Strategic Issues
The ability of the aged care workforce is based on critical skills and competencies since the care required involves person-centered care which helps in addressing patient needs. This represents a way of doing things and thinking exhibited by the aged workforce and sees the old people as equal partners in developing, planning and monitoring their care to ensure their needs are addressed. In this kind of care, the workforce should value the aged people, family situations and social circumstances in solving their problems. The aged are workforce must have the necessary competence to deliver such care. The person-centered care also seeks at providing compassionate care and being respectful as well as sharing decisions with patients. In this regard, the workforce requires the competencies necessary to provide care centered on addressing the aged people needs which involve collaborating with other professionals and families (Pesapane, 2013).
Additionally, the social work practice models can be used to determine how the care providers in the aged people setting can implement the social work theories to meet the needs of the patients as well as enhance positive change. For example, the systems theory applies to the level of behavior expected of the workforce in aged care settings since it involves addressing the complex needs of the elderly people. The system approach is based on the idea that the effectiveness of the system relies on individual needs, expectations and rewards of the residents in the system (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015). In this case, the workforce of the aged population must meet the unique requirements of the elderly people as well as their expectations. However, to achieve this, the workforce must be motivated and directly involved in decision making and resolving problems.
The strategic issue of developing a flexible aged care workforce that is well equipped that necessary competencies and support to provide a collaborative model of care can also be linked to Kolcaba’s comfort care theory. Established by Katharine Kolcaba in the 1990s, the support theory falls within the middle-range theories of health practice, research and education and tends to place comfort as the priority of healthcare (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015). According to the theory, comfort is the key outcome of any form of care such as the one accorded to the aged people. The theory further suggests that comfort exists in different forms such as relief, transcendence, and ease and all tend to consider patients as critical players in the provision of care. On the other hand, aged care involves addressing the needs of a vulnerable population. A majority of the aged people suffer from different health problems such as dementia suggesting that the form of care provided should be based on enhancing their comfort in their settings. The aged care workforce should have the ability to provide this type of care to the elderly people to address both their healthcare needs as well as comfort in the residential care setting (Huston, 2014). The aged care workforce must be equipped with necessary skills to define the old people needs and identify the most appropriate intervention that is likely to enhance their comfort. Practices such as assessing their comfort needs and establishing appropriate plans as well as evaluating the strategies applied is also key to ensure the workforce for the aged people is well trained to address their needs and promote positive outcomes (Ravenswood, Doughlas & Teo, 2014).
Goals/Objectives for Solving the Workforce Issue
As earlier established, aged care workforce play a significant role in addressing the needs of the population as well as promoting positive outcomes. However, research indicates that workforce planning, training, and retention helps in the overall development of the labour force in addressing the aged people needs which are diverse. Due to the vulnerability of the elderly population to different health problems, there is a need to ensure the workforce providing care is adaptable to the changing requirements of the population (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015). Additionally, they must have been well equipped and possess the necessary skills and support to deliver a team-based and collaborative model of care which is essential in addressing the needs of the population as well as involving them in their care. According to Ravenswood, Doughlas & Teo (2014), the majority of the aged care workforce are tasked with providing personal care while the least number provide meal preparation or delivery only. The argument suggests that the number of workforces providing personal care is high creating the need to equip them with the necessary skills and abilities to deliver patient-centered care to address their needs individually. Hence, the primary goal of developing an adaptable workforce with necessary competencies to provide team-based care involves establishing person-centered care in residential or home care settings to address the individual needs of the population (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015).
Secondly, the aged is listed among the vulnerable populations, which are likely to face different health problems such as falls. Hence, the objective of solving the workforce issue selected is based on the idea of ensuring they have the ability to identify the needs of the population and implement the most appropriate strategies to address the aged people needs. The third goal involves promoting positive outcomes for the elderly people primarily people suffering from different health problems by implementing a collaborative or team-based model to care. According to research by Naccarella et al., (2013), successful outcomes in health care settings involves applying a collaborative approach to care. The care is characterized by incorporating different professionals who can assist in delivering quality care as well as providing specialty care to the population such as the aged people with health problems. However, some care providers within the community in context lack the necessary skills and abilities to work in teams or collaboration. Hence, addressing the workforce issue ensures they gain the necessary skills such as communication, cultural or diversity competence and participating in interprofessional collaboration to deliver quality and person-centered care. The concept of cooperation or team-based care also suggests that all team members cooperate in decision making, sharing expertise and respect each other in the services provided (Burns, Grove & Gray, 2015).
The fourth goal or objective for solving the workforce issue includes they have the ability to address various aged people needs such as the people facing health problems. The workforce must have the necessary competency such as nursing care skill which allows them to provide appropriate care as well as seek help when necessary. The aspect helps in providing a holistic environment through, which the aged people can achieve the desired comfort as outlined in Kolcaba’s comfort theory. Research by Huston (2014), also identifies some situations faced by the elderly people as key to the increased health problems such as social exclusion. Hence, the development of the workforce helps to equip them with necessary skills to establish close relationships with the population to reduce the feelings of social exclusion thus bridge the gap between care access to care and willingness to be involved in care.
Evidence-Based Strategies that can help address the Issue
According to Burns, Grove & Gray (2015) workforce development is dependent on different evidence-based strategies such as staff training and development programs. The plan seeks at including the aged care workforce in education and development programs that equips them with the necessary skills and competencies to support and provide collaborative care models. The training can also help the workforce improve their confidence in working with teams as well as communicating to promote positive outcomes. Additionally, the training and development strategy can equip the care providers with the skills to identify and resolve health care needs for the population in context thus enhancing the quality of care provided. The strategy also provides the workforce on current threats facing the community and how well to mitigate them as well as the need to establish close relationships with them to promoted positive outcomes (Huston, 2014). Both new and existing workforce should engage in regular programs to ensure they are equipped with necessary skills to address new threats facing the population in context.
The second strategy that can be used to address the issue being explored includes creating better recruitment and hiring programs that ensure the aged people settings acquire the best workforce in the market such as people with skills to support a collaborative model of care or support team-based care. The hiring or selection process must choose the best individuals to avoid the resources wasted in the developing others as well as enhancing positive outcomes. Proper recruitment process promotes positive outcomes since the individuals selected have the necessary competence to address the strategic workforce issue being evaluated.
Creating awareness campaigns on the need to support and provide a team-based and collaborative model of care can also help in establishing the skills and making the workforce on the care required in their settings. The strategy helps in shaping their perception of the evidence-based approach to support positive outcomes. Raising awareness also encourages interprofessional collaboration since it identifies the role of each care provider in promoting positive outcomes to the aged workforce. According to research by Huston (2014), there is need for commitment to shared vision and willingness to work in teams or support the organizational vision. Hence, the creating the awareness campaigns helps create a common vision among the workforce as well as promoting their commitment to work in teams or values collaboration to develop the quality of services provided.
Consideration of Change Management Issues Necessary to implement the Strategies
Change management is also critical in ensuring positive outcomes as well as successful implementation of the evidence-based strategies. Some of the key management issues applicable in this situation include increasing the management investment or resources on workforce training and development programs. The training and development programs must be held on a regular basis to ensure the workforce have the ability to meet the changing needs of the population. Achieving this requires constant funding or investments by the organization which also serves as a critical change management issue that must be addressed through increased budget allocation to promote the success of the plan. Another management issue necessary includes establishing a team to implement the strategies such as training programs or awareness campaigns facilitators. The team will be tasked with ensuring successful implementation of the strategies on behalf of the management. Lastly, there is need to evaluate the evidence-based strategies implemented which is also a management issue and can be performed by a selected team to promote accountability as well as determine the success of the plan (Huston, 2014).
As earlier established, Australia has a large population of senior citizens creating the need to have the well-equipped workforce to address the old people needs. The idea that the old people comprise of a vulnerable population to different health problems creates the need to ensure the workforce is well prepared to address their needs. The aged care workforce requires skills and competencies to deliver collaborative care models to meet the needs of the elderly people as well as promote positive outcomes. The primary objectives of solving the workforce issue involve enhancing comfort in their last days based on the comfort theory as well as promoting positive outcomes to people with health problems. Evidence-based strategies such as training and development of the workforce enhance their ability to deliver person-centered care necessary in the setting. However, the management must provide oversight role to ensure the success of the strategies and the achievement of the desired goals.
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