The Stress of Caring

1826 words 8 pages
The Stress of Caring

Learning Goals

One of the most consistent changes in the structure of work over the past few decades has been a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. More workers are now engaged in jobs that include providing care and assistance, especially in education and medicine. This work is satisfying for some people, but it can also be highly stressful. In the following scenario, consider how a company in the nursing care industry is responding to the challenges of the new environment.

Major Topic Areas

* Stress * Organizational change * Emotions * Leadership

The Scenario

Parkway Nursing Care is an organization facing a massive change. The company was founded in
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Our patients are demanding. They complain about everything, even about being called patients, probably because most of them think they shouldn’t be here in the first place. A lot of times, their gripes amount to nothing, but we have to log them in anyway.”

Carmen Frank has been with Parkway almost a year and is already considering finding a new job. “I knew there were going to be physical parts to this job, and I thought I’d be able to handle that. It’s not like I was looking for a desk job, you know? I go home after every shift with aches all over—my back, my arms, my legs. I’ve never had to take so much time off from a job because I hurt. And then when I come back, I feel like the rest of the staff thinks I’m weak.”

“I started working here right out of high school because it was the best-paid of the jobs I could get,” says Niecey Wilson. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now I really like my job. Next year I’m going to start taking some night classes so I can move into another position. But some of the staff just thinks of this as any other job. They don’t see the patients as people, more like inventory. If they want to work with inventory, they should get a job in retail.”

Last month, the company’s human resources department pulled the following information from its records at the request of the board of directors. The numbers provide some quantitative support for the concerns voiced by staff.


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