Violence At Work: Westside Health Systems
Located in Chicago, Illinois is a private nonprofit health care system called “Westside Health Systems”. The company consisted of a hospital, a nursing home and 5 minor emergency clinics. Maryanne Walker is the Director of Pharmacy Services, and oversees the main pharmacy located in the hospital, a pharmacy in the nursing home and four satellite pharmacies. She directly reports to her supervisor Nancy Smith. Maryanne is one of 5 total supervisors in Pharmacy Services. Rhonda Carter the inventory supervisor , is the direct supervisor of both employees involved in the allegation : Susan Miller and Brenda Lawson, both pharmacy technicians in the receiving area. The episode claimed that Susan had allegedly assaulted Brenda in the hospital pharmacy, with no witnesses. She had “grabbed her by the shoulders, shoved her against a partition, and perhaps drew her fist back as if to hit her.” When both Susan and Brenda were interviewed in relation to the incident their stories differed in levels of just how severe the fight and physical aggravations were. (More thoroughly explained in the case study.)
If you were Maryanne what actions would you take and why?
As Maryanne, I would conduct another round of interviews for both parties involved (Susan and Brenda) as well as a with Rhonda to highlight the main causes of such a situation and give us further explanations. The interviews would be recorded, with the consent of the interviewee. Then, I would end with a fourth interview with Susan, Brenda and Rhonda and ask them to clarify any misunderstandings, as well as give them a talk on how their actions were completely unacceptable and would not be tolerated in the future. A written write up would be in need for Brenda. Rhonda would be put into a “Special Review” period, due to her failure to report back to her supervisors or even deal with arising problems with her employees. In this case, the troublesome employee was Susan, who seemed to get away with leaving early, coming into work on off days, breaking the computerized inventory system with no reprimand, as well as an overall unfriendliness towards other employees. A discussion with Rhonda is necessary to find out exactly the reason why she felt that many of Susan’s past issues were never reported to upper management when her mental health were clearly a risk at the workplace. In fact, Rhonda may be up for termination for a lack of proper supervision and disciplinary action on Susan. In fact, Susan had two events in which she injured herself, which in turn could have been a liability to Westside Health Systems. All of these incidents which come to light much later than they should have are enough to terminate Rhonda for her unsatisfactory job performance. Keeping in mind that this is a private organization and the company is at right for termination without notice.
As for Susan, given that she has clinical depression and is prescribed Prozac, her time around those substances at work may become a hazard for her stability and overall work performance. Therefore, we suggest a “Wellness Program” including psychotherapy and counseling as well as education on overall wellness (eating habits, exercising, healthy living).
I would then provide the company’s employees a special training on workplace violence. The goal of this course would be to give employees awareness of violence in the workplace, how to recognize the warning signs, and what actions to take to prevent or minimize violence in the future. It is also important to define workplace violence in accordance with the pharmaceutical company’s policies:
List the types of workplace violence.
Identify warning sign levels related to potential workplace violence. List the action steps taken in response to workplace violence. Identify ways to prevent workplace violence.
Ways to encourage employees to report incidents in which they feel threatened for any reason by anyone...
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