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NURS 6221 Week 11: Social Technologies in the Workplace

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NURS 6221 Week 11: Social Technologies in the Workplace essay assignment

NURS 6221: Managing Human Resources | Week 11 essay assignment

Social media is everywhere, and personal use of this technology has found its way into the workplace. This use, however, presents unique social and ethical ramifications, particularly with regard to patient safety and privacy. Nurse managers can partner with HR to educate staff on organizational policies in an effort to safeguard the organization from any legal or financial harm the use of social technologies may inadvertently introduce.

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With a basic knowledge of employment law, managers and HR professionals can better address the novel legal and organizational issues that accompany the growing popularity of social technologies. In addition, taking time to analyze how social media is used by staff members can help you develop an effective plan for monitoring the use and benefits of these types of technologies.

In addition to social technologies in the workplace, this week you explore aspects of conflict management. You explore the various types of conflict that can occur in health care settings. You also examine methods nurse managers can use to manage such conflict.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate social, ethical, and legal ramifications related to social technologies in the workplace
  • Evaluate workplace policies on social technologies

As a nurse manager, it is imperative to understand how social technologies can impact productivity, peer-to-peer relationships, and patient safety within the workplace. Collaborating with HR to understand policies and the organization’s expectations related to the use of social technologies allows nurse managers to more effectively and appropriately integrate today’s social platforms while mitigating the occurrence of inappropriate behaviors.

For this week’s Discussion, your Instructor will assign you to one of the scenarios below. You will then use that scenario to investigate the social, ethical, and legal ramifications of social technologies.

Scenario One: You have recently been promoted to charge nurse for the day shift in your department. As a result of this promotion, your former peers are now reporting directly to you. You have been working in your setting for five years and consider many of these peers to be your friends. The way that one of your friends posts on social media sites has always bothered you. Many times, her comments are inappropriate, discussing her negative feelings about “ignorant superiors” and “annoying patients.” You also know that she frequently accesses these sites for extended periods of time while patients are waiting to be helped. Now that she reports directly to you, how do you address this? If your workplace does not have a formal policy on social media use, how can you adapt her behaviors to align with the expectations of nursing professionalism?

Scenario Two: It has been a little over a year since you accepted your nurse management position at a local pediatrics office. Since then, you have observed that many nurses seem uneasy when they work with one of your top physicians. You wonder why so many nurses are hesitant to work with such an experienced physician, particularly since most of your families rave about her dedication and caring nature toward their children. One day, while taking careful observation of your staff, you watch a nurse take out a patient chart and begin to text. The nurse becomes visibly upset as she sees you approach. When you question her about her behavior, she confides that the physician asks all nurses to text patient test results to her. The nurse admits that she feels uncomfortable sending private information via text message and only did so after multiple requests and increasing pressure from the physician. According to ethical and legal guidelines, who is at fault for this error in judgment? Since the nurse is the employee who sent the information, should action be taken against her, against the physician, or against both parties?

Scenario Three: A physician in your setting is an avid user of social media. On many of his personal pages, which include blogs about his various outdoor hobbies, he plasters pictures of himself and his friends out drinking. He also tends to post extreme comments about politics and the economy. Many in your setting joke with him about the intensity of his social life, to which he always comments, “Work hard, play hard.” Though his actions are not hurting the morale of the setting, and his posts are always before or after work hours, should anything be said to this physician? In the future, could your setting experience any ramifications because of his presence in social media?

Scenario Four: The environment in your critical care unit has always been somewhat hectic. However, over the last few months, the morale in your unit has noticeably deteriorated. You learn that nurses have begun to share mass e-mail chains complaining about unfair scheduling treatment. As the nurse manager, you have always tried your best to schedule staff fairly and even allow them to switch their shifts when personal problems arise. Since your effort to talk with staff individually does not seem to be working, you decide to hold a town hall meeting to openly discuss these issues. As you prepare the meeting announcement, you notice e-mails from your hospital administrator, chief operating officer and director of human resources. All are wondering why their inboxes have been inundated with e-mails from upset nurses in your unit. How do you respond to these e-mails? Furthermore, how should you address this situation to improve the morale of your unit?

To prepare

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the appropriate and inappropriate use of social technologies in the workplace.
  • Conduct further research on the social, ethical, and legal issues that result from inappropriate use of social technologies both inside and outside work hours.
    • For example, what laws protect the privacy and free speech of employees? How can workplaces legally safeguard themselves from various social technology issues such as defamation, misrepresentation, or misuse by individual employees? Of what legal ramifications, such as patient privacy and confidentiality laws, should managers be aware?
  • Reflect on the scenario to which you have been assigned.
    • How might employee use of social technologies impact the rest of the setting? How might it impact the care given to patients?
    • As the nursing manager who oversees the employee(s), what strategies (if any) would you employ to effectively address this situation?
  • Consider the social technology policies of your past or present workplace.
    • With regard to employee use of social media, do you believe the workplace policy is effective? Why or why not? As a nurse manager, could you use this policy to effectively address the behaviors in your assigned scenario?

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 11 Discussion”) with “Review of Case Study ___” identifying the number of the case study you were assigned.

NURS 6221 Week 11: Social Technologies in the Workplace essay assignment

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the possible social, ethical, and/or legal ramifications of your assigned scenario. Explain the policy your current or past workplace has on the use of social technologies and how effective you believe the policy is. If your workplace does not have a policy, explain what the accepted practices or expectations are for your setting. Has lack of policy led to any problems? Support your responses by referencing authentic examples from the workplace and this week’s Learning Resources as appropriate.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read a colleague’s posting, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

High-pressure environments, life-or-death implications, constant change, and long days of exhausting work … It is not surprising that conflicts arise in health care settings. In the fast-paced environment in which nurses work, small differences in decision making, processes, work ethic, and personal characteristics can quickly escalate

As a nurse manager, you need to develop and model skills that effectively address conflict situations. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, offers sound advice that can be applied to conflict management and resolution. In Habit 4, Think Win-Win, Covey (2004) explains, “[m]any people think in terms of either/or: either you’re nice or you’re tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration.” Ultimately, how you manage conflict in your setting will determine whether you foster an environment that breeds contempt or one that fosters growth.

Conflict abounds in any workplace; it is a normal part of organizational life. Instead of avoiding or ignoring conflict, the role of the nurse manager is to coach employees through conflict situations and to exercise judgment on how and when to intervene. When managed effectively and focused on substantive issues, conflict can actually lead to better outcomes. However, when interpersonal conflicts go unaddressed, employee morale and engagement–two factors that can seriously impact quality of patient care—will dwindle.

When nurse managers observe employees engaging in toxic or inappropriate workplace behaviors, they must prepare to give difficult feedback. Delivering difficult feedback can be challenging for nurse managers, as they must address employees in a way that is authoritative, supportive, and resolute. One strategy nurse managers can use to deliver difficult feedback is to employ the scripting framework. In this week’s Discussion, you gain experience with using the scripting framework to resolve a conflict situation that you have observed in your past or present workplace.

To prepare

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the various forms of conflict that can occur in the workplace.
  • Consider the types of conflict, including bullying, horizontal violence, toxic and disruptive employees, misuse of social media, unbalanced power, harassment, and favoritism, that exist in your current organization or past place of employment.
  • Select one type of conflict you have observed. How has conflict impacted your work environment? How have nurse mangers attempted to address conflict situations?
  • Examine the six-step scripting framework for delivering difficult feedback in Chapter 7 of the course text,From Management to Leadership: Strategies for Transforming Health Care. Then, use this framework to script a conversation between you and the employee(s) involved in the conflict situation you selected.
  • When drafting your script, reflect on how HR might be able to help you in addressing this issue, both before you talk to this employee and if the problem continues to exist.

By Day 4

Post a brief overview of the conflict you selected and how this specific type of conflict has impacted the work environment. Share the script you drafted and explain at least one way you would enlist HR’s help in managing this situation. Support your response by referencing authentic examples from the workplace and the Learning Resources as applicable.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Managing conflict effectively includes receiving feedback on your own performance. As such, respond on or before Day 6 to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using the following approach:

  • Critically appraise the effectiveness of your colleague’s script by placing yourself in the position of the employee receiving this difficult feedback. How would you feel if a manager said this to you? Would this conversation prompt you to change your behavior? Why or why not? What strengths did the script have, and where might clarification be needed?

 

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