The system theory looks at the world as a system composed of smaller subsystems. These systems act as a representation of life phenomena, and are used by humanity to define the working of these occurrences. For instance, in a healthcare organization, a hospital is a system with inputs, processes and outputs (Fawcett, 2005). The system theory is essential in understanding the health care organizations, practices and endings processes and their interaction within a health care system. The theory helps in understanding how health care organization systems permits us assess, visualize and understand structures, processes and feedback loops that make up the organization. This accurate and clear understanding of the organization as a system, and subsystem that make it enables the organization to efficiently achieve its health care delivery goals (Fawcett, 2005).
Outpatient department is a subsystem within health organization system that is involved with provision of health care services to outpatient clients. This subsystem is often viewed as the backwater of the hospital. It is a cutting edge in the health care delivery. This is because it deals with a large number of patients who receives services without being admitted to the hospital. In this subsystem, the role of nurses is highly essential; thus they are required to develop (Meyer & O'Briena%u0302?Pallas, 2010). In his department, the nurses deliver their services under the supervision of the medical doctor who is the head of the department. The nurses are responsible for much of the daily function of this department. They take patient histories, evaluate and analyze the key health patient data and come up with patient diagnosis. In addition, they prescribe medication and other treatments.
In accordance to the system theory, Out-patient subsystem constitutes of an energetic input output system. This subsystem is composed of inputs, throughputs, outputs and negative feedback that shape its operations. In addition, this input output system enables the department to adapt in response to internal and external forces from the large healthcare organization system in within which it operates (Meyer & O'Briena%u0302 ?Pallas, 2010). The delivery of nursing services in out-patient subsystem occurs inside the supra-system of organization, and is dependent on the inflow of inputs that include nurses, service recipient and material energy. In this section, the nursing condition, psychological and physiological states of the person and the resources available forms an essential part of the input. Material support includes equipment supplies and information (Meyer & O'Briena%u0302? Pallas, 2010). Throughputs entail all activities that are conducted in order to deliver the outputs based on clinical knowledge and judgment, which a nurse perform to enhance the client’s outcomes. The output reflects key outcomes of the nurses’ work in the outpatient subsystem. The outcome will include effective diagnosis, management of symptoms and prevention of the client’s complication. The feedback will entail the client response and valuation of nursing results and care on the basis of clients’ satisfaction.
In the outpatient department, the overworking of nurses has been identified as being a chief obstacle towards delivery of quality health care service to clients. In accordance with the system theory, there are few nurses personnel at the outpatient subsystem. The personnel inputs are low in comparison to the clients and material energy received in the subsystem (Catalano, 2005). The material inputs and structures essential for completion of the service delivery exceed the number of nurse available. This is reflected in the throughput where the team works that is required in order to perform services interdependently. Therefore, the nature of work, staffing practices, service care delivery model and coordination mechanism becomes impaired. This reduces the efficiency and quality since the available nurse is often overwhelmed. The overworking of the nurse’s in the outpatient subsystem impact the output of services to the client. In addition, it reduces the number and volume of out-patient client served. It also impact on effective diagnosis, and prescription (Catalano, 2005). As a result, the overall feedback in the subsystem is negatively reflected due to poor delivery of services. It the feedback influences the organization feedback in terms of quality, resource utilization and efficiency of the outer image of larger health organization system within which the subsystem operates.
Addressing the problem of nurse shortage is expected to bring some beneficial outcomes both to the organization and to the nurses. This will ensure quality and efficient services are delivered to patients. Some of the desired outcomes will include
Reduction in Work Related Stress for Nurses
Nurses work tirelessly for long hours leading to burnout. Nurses work all day long and at odd hours so as to cater for the patients’ needs. This puts much pressure on their psychological personality, and this leaves no or little time to rest and think (Mechanic, 2004). Therefore, nurses end up experiencing both the physical and emotional stress. Addressing the problem of nurse’s shortage will ensure that more or adequate nurses are employed, and this will enable the nurses to work in shifts and have more time to rest (Wilkinson, 2007).
Increasing Quality Service Delivery
Shortage of nurses makes the available inputs or the nurses to work for long hours. They end up experiencing fatigue leading to poor service delivery. Addressing the problem of nurse’s shortage will ensure that nurses are not overworked; they will work in shifts and thus deliver quality services to patients (Mechanic, 2004).
Better or Improved Home-Work Balance
Work life is significant for any work profession and mainly nursing. Nursing is a profession with tough working conditions that make a nurse prone to work related hazards such as infections. Therefore, addressing the problem of nurse shortage will ensure nurses have more offs so that they spend more time with family members (Mechanic, 2004). This will help in breaking the work stress and monotony experienced at work place.
Goals and Objectives That Will Facilitate Achieving the Above Outcomes
Having enough staff or nurses will be the ultimate goal. Achievement of this goal will be aided by several objectives. The first objective will be attracting new qualified nurses. Although this is an objective that in the past has been used to correct the problem of nurse’s shortage, attracting young and fresh mind in the nursing profession will be the main objective (Mechanic, 2004).
Another objective will involve recruiting inactive nurses. There is a large pool of inactive experienced professional nurses who have been neglected. Bring them onboard so as to correct the problem of nurses shortage will a main objective (Wilkinson, 2007). Another objective will involve, improving the nursing image. Translating the above objectives into policies and procedures will involve making them the guiding procedures and processes towards the realization of the organization’s mission and vision. Having adequate staff will become an operating principle to the organization. It will ensure that only the best qualified staff is given priority (Wilkinson, 2007). The second objective will become a principle to the organization in that neglected nurses have the necessary knowledge to help ease the shortage. Finally, the objective of improving the nursing image will become an operating principle for the organization. It will entail always maintaining a positive image of nursing (Wilkinson, 2007).
The organization mission is to provide quality patient care with unrelenting consideration to patient safety, clinical experience and a commitment to assure the best health care to patients. Addressing the problem of nurse shortage will help in upholding the organization values, mission and improving the culture and climate of nursing (Mechanic, 2004). Failing to overwork the nurses will enable them to deliver quality services to the patients, maintaining politeness in the organization is a value in the organization and this will also be attained if the workers needs are met. The culture and climate established in the organization is that of promoting a friendly environment between the nurses and patients. This will also be achieved if nurse’s needs are considered and patients get quality services.