WELCOMING WORKPLACE FOR OLDER NURSES 6
Workplace at ABC Hospital
With over 2100 beds, ABC Hospital is an 8 campus health facility thatis committed to proper nursing and recovery of patients. Havingworked with the hospital for over twenty years, I have experiencedseveral developments at the hospital both in human resource,technology and hospital capacity. More importantly, I haveexperienced the changes in the ages and generations of nurses workingat the facility. On an average over recent five years, there havebeen the following age variations of employees
Number of nurses
20 to 30
30 to 40
40 to 50
50 to 60
60 to 70
In the last five years, there was a majority ofolder nurses, but the trend has been changing in recent years due tothe need for the use of new health methods. However, the oldergeneration has been valued at the hospital because of theirexperience. Therefore, the hospital administration uses them to guideand mentor the young professionals. A good example of this trend ismy own experience. Due to my expertise, advanced education andservice to the hospital, I have administrative roles as a patientexperience director.
The work environment is made conducive for thisgeneration by allocating them roles that reflect their experience andskills. They are not given challenging roles that they are notfamiliar with. This is because of the changing work environments,especially with the introduction of new health methods. Inparticular, the elderly nurses and health workers who cannot handlenew technology are allocated other roles and tasks that do notchallenge them to use such technology.
At the hospital, administrators do not allocatenight shifts and late night nursing duties to older nurses beyondsixty years. These duties are reserved for the younger generation whocan serve night shifts without health problems. Due to their age, theolder nursing workforce is not comfortable working at nights due tohealth related problems. Therefore, the hospital excuses them fromengaging into the late night shifts. This gives the old nurses achance to work in a better environment just like they had wished towork under.
The adoption of new technology in the nursingfield has presented work-related challenges to the older generation.This is because they are not well versed with new health systems andmedical technology that is continually being advanced. For instance,at the hospital, the use of the ever-changing Electronic HealthRecord (EHR)is beneficial but is challenging to the older nurses. Moreover, ittakes longer for them to learn how to use them compared to theyounger workers.
Anotherchallenge that is facing the old generation is discrimination by theyoung nurses who want things done faster and better. The older nursesfind it necessary to follow all the stipulated procedures, even thosethat seem to delay services, as deemed by the young workforce. It isa challenge for older nurses to work alongside the young generationwho are faster and more dynamic especially when following procedures.This difference in working speed and ideology presents a challenge tothe old nurses (Victoria, 2010).
Strategies to retain older nurses
Hospitals should train the old nurses how touse new technology and adapt to the new methods of working. This willplace them at an almost equal level with the current age and helpthem combine their rich experience with modernity for the service ofthe hospital.
Secondly, hospitals can compensate old nurseswith better and special considerations than others. The older nurseshave advanced experience compared to the new nurses. Therefore, theyoffer services with an added value which cannot be compensated in thenormal salary packages. In addition, most of them have higherconcerns in terms of benefits such as requiring more finances thanthe young ones (Robbins& Judge, 2011). Therefore,the hospital has a higher payment and more allowances to this specialgroup of employees. As argued by Robbinsand Judge (2011), such specialallowances provided to them will make them feel motivated and feelappreciated for being nursed at the facility at their age.
Thirdly, hospitals should give leadership rolesto the old nurses in order to help them feel at positions ofinfluence and mentor the young nurses. In addition, they shouldallocate roles that invoke their wisdom and experience to bring outbetter results (Dols & Landrum, 2010). This is because they haveirreplaceable knowledge that cannot be gained from any educationalfacility. It is knowledge that can only be utilized by allowing oldernurses to work in some roles.
Finally, hospitals should set their workingenvironment and schedule that is responsive to the differences in theage of the nurses. Outten argues that the main step towardsestablishing a better working nursing workforce is to recognize andbe aware of the generations in the workforce. This will make themanagement conscious of this difference and work to favor each of theage groups.
Dols, J, Landrum, P 2010. ‘Leading andManaging an Intergenerational workforce.’ Creative
Robbins, S.P., & Judge, T. A. (2011). OrganizationalBehavior,13th ed. Upper Saddle River,
NJ: Prentice Hall
Outten, M. K. (2012). FromVeterans to Nexters: Managing a Multigenerational Workforce.
NursingManagement.April 2012 , Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
VictorianGovernment, 2010. Valueadded: the wisdom of older nurses at work. RetrievedFrom,
<http://www.health.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/507070/web-bookmarked-version-value-added.pdf>May 8, 2014