Please, respond to the following discussion by using one reference from peer-reviewed Nursing Journal
not older than 5 years.
Some of the challenges of having different generations in the workplace include a difference in education, particularly vocational training, and a difference in communication style. As current practices are studied and re-evaluated, traditional practices may be replaced by those that are more recently researched and are evidence-based. Veteran nurses may believe it is a waste of resources to change a practice that has been in place for so long and, in their view, has yielded adequate results. Similarly, younger generations may readily dismiss suggestions and viewpoints from veteran nurses in favor of the new practices learned in school without considering that years of clinical experience can be just as valuable. This disconnect between nurses of differing generations may be rooted in a difference of communication style. For example, Baby Boomer nurses were trained to only voice their opinions when asked, whereas Millennial nurses’ were taught to speak up any time they have a problem with, or idea for, new practices; this difference in communication may lead the Baby Boomer nurse to regard the Millennial nurse as impertinent and disrespectful of authority instead of realizing that new nurse is actually trying to improve the patient experience (Phillips, 2016, p.198).
In my experience, some veteran workers can be set in their ways to a fault, even if there is clear evidence that practices they are accustomed to are simply not the best practices anymore. This is not to say that middle-aged or younger workers cannot share this attribute, however the veteran workers sometimes use their field experience as a rationale to ignore current research findings and continue using practices they deem appropriate. Also, as an employee that is frequently on the team that rolls out new technology and equipment, I feel that veteran workers take more time to warm up to change and can be somewhat hostile to a younger person, such as myself, training them.
As far as accommodations, we have certain older employees that will not perform job-necessary duties because of back issues, knee issues, or other medical issues in the same vein. As a result, these employees rarely get assigned total care patients, making the younger staff resentful because they feel they, literally, do all the heavy lifting while these older employees are routinely assigned the less acute patients. To a certain extent, allowances should be made for older workers, including nurses. After a lifetime of caring for patients, it is reasonable to deduce that the joints, particularly knees and back, can be irreparably damaged from repeated use. However, in my opinion if an employee is unable to perform the duties required of their job title, they should be doing a different job. It is not fair that one group of nurses consistently gets less acute patients, thereby doing half the work, but still receiving the same benefits as those nurses that pick up the slack. A potential solution would be for the nurses with physical limitations to shift to a position that utilizes their experience but is less physically demanding; such positions include resource nurse, case manager, or patient care coordinator. If this were fiscally feasible, the unit would be able to retain the wealth of knowledge provided by these seasoned nurses and still have room to hire new nurses that can help distribute the patient loads more equitably.
Life expectancy in the United States has increased over the past few decades and older people are generally healthier than their predecessors, however the incidence of chronic conditions has also increased in this time frame (Tabloski, 2014, p.8). This indicates that there are more people to care for and these patients are more likely to have multiple comorbidities. This trend has the potential to put an enormous strain, economically and physically, on an already overburdened health care system and nurses, particularly bedside nurses, will bear the brunt of this (Tabloski, 2014, p.13). It is important that nurses engage in primary and secondary prevention with this population, including education related to diet, exercise, and proper medication utilization (Tabloski, 2014, p.13). By encouraging older patients to take an active role in preservation of function and overall health, nurses empower these patients to help decrease their risk for chronic conditions, like hypertension, and injury (Tabloski, 2014, p.13). Also, nurses must be educated on specific attributes of the older population, such as increased sensitivity to certain medications, decreased sensory perception, and increased susceptibility to mental health issues, such as depression, that may affect their physical health or motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.le