As the world has crossed the threshold of twenty first century, the human race is confronting several diverse and different challenges in every corner of the globe. In this regard, considering the world of commerce, the human resource managements are constantly been observed to witness quite a few grave challenges that have become the top priority for the healthcare managers to take into account.
Inequity at workplace is one of the unfortunate and adverse realities that the workforce experiences on everyday basis. Layoffs or cut down of hours is one of the serious and severe issues of the contemporary environment that has is being experienced particularly in the health care institutions, and hence has become an extensive issue on a broad spectrum within the industry. Due to this, it has been taken into consideration with severity by the health care managers as well (Wolper, 2004).
The fact has come to the forefront that complaints related to layoffs and cut down of hours (where the employees are going from full time to part time) in the health care organizations has continued to escalate in the recent times, which has been largely reported by the human resource managers. The prime reason that the health care organizations provide to this issue is the increased debts on the pensions of the employees and other financial pressures. Because of the rising complaints of layoffs and cut down of hours, especially in the health care organizations in the current times, it has considerably become a top priority issue that needs to be looked upon by the healthcare managers (Larocque, 2012).
Layoffs and shifting of health care professional from full time to part time in the health care industry has been observed as an escalated problem in both rural community hospitals as well as long-term care organizations. This is usually because the rural community hospitals experience the challenges of financial resources due to their geographical location and size while providing quality healthcare facilities to the patients. However, the long-term care organizations also encounter the financial stress due to which they are cutting down the hours of the health care professionals from all levels in order to reduce their budgets (Wolper, 2004).
Numerous sources of information have over and over again proved that exposure to layoffs and shift from full time to part time jobs have a deviating impact on the health care professionals. The excessive and extravagant costs related to the mentioned issue in the healthcare makes it overwhelming to the organization as well as society. The costs of shrinking income and layoffs usually associates with various other consequential activities by the health care professionals that include augmented stress, time pressures, increased absenteeism, unclear job expectations, poor concentration and low self-esteem or morale that ultimately leads to decreased output and productivity (Wolper, 2004).
The impact of layoffs and shrinking of earning or time of the health care professionals leaves drastic and adverse impacts on many other stakeholders as well, which typically include the patients. This is predominantly because the workload of the health care professionals doubles in case of layoffs, while reduced hours would lead them to have poor concentration due to which they would not be able to provide complete support (in terms of technical and emotional) to the patients (Wolper, 2004). Therefore, on an overall basis, it is claimed that post-acute care patients and long-stay residents confront significant negative impact on quality and access to care received.
The statistical figures from various studies and investigations have undoubtedly explicated that layoffs and shifting trend of full time employment to part time employment recently in especially heath care organizations has escalated at an unprecedented rate. Even though this issue has become one of the prevailing challenges for the health care organizations and HR managers in the modern world of today, yet numerous effective prevention strategies are being developed and implemented that can help the health care professionals re-build their confidence level, morale and are able to cope up the stress and other issues that they witnessed due to layoffs and shrinking of hours (McConnell, 2011).
Unions are one of the effective strategies that have been developed for the workers and labors that they can put forward their options and propositions to the management, which are negotiable. In the similar manner, the health care professionals have the option of union that provides them with legal right to a voice in the process. Many of the hospitals are engaged and involved in the process of discussions that are typically focusing on the goals of saving jobs of the health care professionals. These institutions are also aiming to maintain the benefits level of the health care professionals while making improvements to the hospitals as well (Larocque, 2012).
One of the strategies that have been implemented by the hospital management in order to avoid and prevent the layoffs is change of existing roles of health care professionals. This exhibits that in order to avoid the layoffs, the employees must accept new roles. These new positions and functions are initiated with the opportunity of training sessions that can help them build new skills. Therefore, redeployment and cross-training of the same employees usually prevents the layoffs, which is immensely correlated to staff morale, patient satisfaction and quality outcomes (Graban, 2012).
The prevention programs or strategies are particularly designed to curtail the levels of stress and boost the self-confidence of the employees of health care organizations so that they can productively continue with their mundane activities and have a normal and standard life. It is imperative to do so; otherwise the health care professionals would fall under adverse and drastic impacts that would provide harm to physical and mental conditions of them such as time pressures, increased absenteeism, unclear job expectations, poor concentration, low self-esteem or morale, decreased productivity and so forth (McConnell, 2011).
The general and broad view of studies and researches on the layoffs and shifting trend of full time worker to part time employee in management field as well as health care organizations have been observed since centuries. This results in negative outcomes on not only individual level but for the entire organization and the society as well. Economic downturns, fluctuations and instability have been witnessed as the prime aspect that give rise to the issue of layoffs and reduced work hours. However, the recent statistical analyses have brought the fact to the limelight that the cases reported concerning the layoffs and reduced hours have increased to a significant proportion in the last couple of years on a global basis (Fallon & McConnell, 2007).
On an general basis, studies carried out in various states of the U.S. has exposed the fact that health care workers such as nurses and personal care workers in the U.S. are being laid off in order to reduce the overall costs of the hospital or long-term care organizations that can help them improve and put more financial assistance to the patient care (Shi, 2010).
Considering the issue of layoffs and reduced hours in the health care organizations, it has come to notice that nurses and other health care providers experience high level of stress due to which they are not able to provide them with the complete support. This denotes that the nurse is only able to provide the essential medical assistance to the patient and withholds the emotional support due to increased workload and stress factor; they are not able to provide comprehensive concentration on the patient care. In other words, they only provide the minimum technical care to the patient, even though they believe that emotional care is of equal significance in comparison to the technical support. Consequently, the level and type of care that the patients receive and need is immensely affected (Fallon & McConnell, 2007).
Empirical analysis from the studies and researchers depicts the fact that the health care workers are usually laid off and fired for reasons that they cannot fight back with the organization, which includes poor or inadequate performance, not following the organizational policies, lack of interpersonal skills and so forth (Shi, 2010).
Taking into account the patient care, researches have indicated that the layoffs and cut down of hours of nurses and other medical care professionals largely results in medical errors, increased deaths and illness. This clearly symbolizes the fact that staffing levels of health care professionals have a direct and undeviating impact on the patient's health safety and mortality. In this regard, the studies proclaim that nursing care is essential and integral to the survival of the patients from an injury, illness (both physical and mental), or surgery due to which they are hospitalized or are admitted in the care facility unit (Fallon & McConnell, 2007).
The broader and pervasive viewpoint has been revealed by the experts that nursing care is a significant and vital factor that leads to the realization of the better quality of care provided by the hospitals…