The work in the field of human services attracts a significant amount of people. Naturally, there is no single opinion regarding it. It means that even the people working in the same organization will have different answers to the same questions. Therefore, the following work presents the results of interviewing of three different staff members of Adelbrook Behavioral & Developmental Services, Inc. to define the differences between them.
Garrell Mullaney: President and CEO
The social work with disabled people, namely the mentally ill ones and those with learning disabilities, has attracted Mr. Mullaney. The reason was related to the prejudices the society has towards them. Thus, he wanted to refute the biases, proving that mentally ill individuals also deserve compassion and respect. The position of a CEO within a human service organization implies a high responsibility. Therefore, Mr. Mullaney had to cope with the requirements it presented, namely the master’s degree in the healthcare administration. Additionally, he has spent ten years in the position of superintendent of Norwich Hospital. It has taken him about twenty years to obtain the skills necessary to become a CEO of the human service organization.
Mr. Mullaney’s typical day is quite diverse. For example, there are some periods that are being completely clogged with meetings, presentations, and discussions. However, sometimes he spends days in his office, analyzing the situation and examining Adelbrook’s accounting system. Still, he notes that there is some consistency. He does not like to break up his working day, trying to arrange the maximum number of meetings for the morning.
According to Mr. Mullaney, the most challenging aspect of his job is to separate his personal feelings from those ones being professional. Having to deal with many people, he often has to suppress negative emotions to ensure a smooth flow of a meeting or conversation. However, these hardships are compensated by the feeling of happiness he experiences when the people undergoing the treatment at Adelbrook manage to become the full-fledged members of the society. Naturally, the mentioned problems may scare off the potential social workers. For those persons being unsure if it is the right career for them, Mr. Mullaney suggests to try it at least. In other words, he tells to probe the waters before making the ultimate decision.
As a CEO, Mr. Mullaney usually does not participate in the treatment and rehabilitation programs directly. Nevertheless, he considers the improvement of his professional skills through continuing education to be vital in his line of work. The ever-changing internal and external environments of Adelbrook present new issues and challenges, including ethical ones. For example, during the financial crisis, it was necessary to increase the funding of the facility by taking a loan. However, it would raise the strain on the budget of the organization, meaning that the problem did not have a correct solution being beneficial to all parties. Mr. Mullaney solved the problem with the use of the utilitarian approach by analyzing the impact of each option in relation to the parties involved. After that, an alternative that contributed to a maximum effect for the greatest number of people (taking a preferential credit) has been chosen.
When it comes to prioritizing tasks, Mr. Mullaney prefers relying on the principle of Eisenhower. He tries to define his primary and secondary objectives on the basis of concepts of the importance and urgency. It means that he has only two options to analyze and classify all daily, monthly or yearly tasks (Forsyth, 2013). Thus, he creates a clear hierarchy, which helps understanding when and what to do. The promotion of a healthy and hospitable work environment is among such activities. It is addressed through the implementation of the people-centered corporate culture. In particular, the staff of Adelbrook primarily consists of highly qualified people that do not require any guidance. These experts recognize the value of each other as well as their clients, which contributes to the creation of the described work atmosphere.
Candice Holley: Vice President of Human Resources
Mrs. Holley has been attracted to the career in the sphere of human services due to the challenges it presented. In particular, this sort of activity is connected with the responsibility for the people’s health and even life. It means that the procedure of selection of candidates must be arranged flawlessly. Naturally, the requirements to such HR managers are quite high, including a specialized education (the bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources management) and solid communication skills (Mathis, Jackson, Valentine, & Meglich, 2016). In general, it has taken Mrs. Holley ten years to apply for the position of Vice President of Human Resources. At the same time, she has developed her communication skills in a course of her work. As a result, she receives the continuing education in a form of training courses to improve her ability to read the people.
For Mrs. Holley, the typical working day takes place in the office, not involving any travels or business trips. Her morning is devoted to the analysis of incoming resumes and company’s regulations, as well as the check of the candidates’ recommendations. After that, Candice is usually involved in the issues of personnel training, as well as the organization of meetings and presentations. By the end of the day, she reviews the staff’s work results, making the decisions on rotation or motivation of workers.
According to Mrs. Holley, the most challenging aspect of her job is a process of dismissal of employees. It occurs due to the fact that people usually choose to work in the sphere of human services out of their good will and desire to help others. Moreover, such decision-making often presents some ethical challenges. For example, Mrs. Holley had to fire a social worker that reached the age of 60. However, the worker insisted on continuing the beloved work. The issue had been addressed through the use of the individualistic approach (the action that will be beneficial to an employee in a long run is considered to be morally acceptable). Considering that the age of the worker did not allow her to perform her duties efficiently, the following fact became clear. The risk of making a mistake could not only affect the well-being of a patient but also create an emotional burden for her being rather significant. To avoid this, it was decided to transfer her to another position instead of dismissal. At the same time, the observation of such enthusiasm demonstrated by people towards social work is being most rewarding.
As an HR manager, Mrs. Holley often encounters the candidates that have some doubts regarding their potential career in the sphere of human services. In most cases, she advises them to think their decision through social work, especially such one focused on the disabled people. It is not something that can be done halfheartedly. In turn, the indecisiveness may result in the mistakes that will likely to affect both a worker and his/her patient.
Mrs. Holley plans her daily, monthly, and yearly work by using so-called Covey’s quadrants. This method allows prioritizing activities on the basis of their importance and urgency. In general, all the issues can be divided into several groups (quadrants). Mrs. Holley pays the primary attention to the quadrant containing important but not urgent problems. It allows saving time when performing the other tasks, such as the promotion of a healthy and hospitable work environment. The people-oriented corporate culture of Adelbrook requires the implementation of activities enhancing team cohesion. For this purpose, she develops a wide array of special projects, such as the Best Project of the Year, Face of the Company, etc.
Karen Tullsonr: Physical Therapist
Mrs. Tullsonr has found the career of a social worker attractive because it has provided an opportunity to put her skills as a healthcare professional in use. Being a physical therapist, she believes that there is a healthy mind in a healthy body. She supposes that physical and mental health is interconnected. In turn, she hopes that the programs she develops will allow speeding up the process of rehabilitation for certain groups of mentally ill people.
The position of physical therapist requires a specialized education (the doctoral degree in physical therapy) as well as a license. At the same time, the work with the disabled and mentally ill individuals implicates the presence of additional skills. As a result, Mrs. Tullsonr also has taken the courses in psychology, spending nearly five years to comply with the presented requirements. On the other hand, the Department of Public Health of Connecticut does not specify the need for the continuing education for physical therapists (Pino, 2010). Still, she takes additional trainings to improve her communication skills. The primary reason for that is that therapists often serve as a face of Adelbrook. As a result, their possession of an ability to communicate with patients efficiently and understand their problems is the best way to promote a really healthy and hospitable work environment.
The typical day of Mrs. Tullsonr is usually filled with working with patients in accordance with the pre-approved programs. However, there are some periods when she has to participate in the development of the treatment and rehabilitation schedules for the disabled people. Sometimes, she takes part in the meetings with the patients’ relatives, providing some explanations on the process of nursing.
Mrs. Tullsonr states that the most challenging aspect of her job is to find an individual approach to each patient. She claims that her skills as a psychologist are not sufficient enough to make them open up for her with minimum efforts. At the same time, the ability to make sick people perceive her as the one to turn for help is most rewarding. Naturally, such aspects can prove to be an obstacle to potential social workers. For those ones being unsure of the way they have chosen, Mrs. Tullsonr advises the following one. Viewing these hardships as challenges may improve one’s skills and provide a better understanding of your own self.
Mrs. Tullsonr prefers planning her daily, monthly, and yearly work by using the so-called ABC method. It divides all tasks into three categories, i.e. A (vital), B (important), and C (enjoyable). Naturally, the activities belonging to the first category have the highest priority. Moreover, their hierarchy extends even further through their separation into sub-tasks, such as A1, A2, and so on. As a result, Mrs. Tullsonr receives a list that specifies the order of her work.
Being in a constant contact with her patients, Mrs. Tullsonr often encounters various ethical challenges. For example, some of treated persons may express reluctance towards physical therapy. It occurs due to the fact that it is connected with an increased activity. Despite the fact that it is good for their health, they cannot be forced into it as coercion may have negative effects on their mental state. Mrs. Tullsonr has addressed these issues by adhering to the code of medical ethics, namely the rule of doing no harm to a patient. In particular, she gives the sick individual an ability to make a decision on his/her own, after explaining its pros and cons. Such method also allows the patient to feel responsible for his/her well-being, thus bringing him/her another step further to becoming a productive member of the society.
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In conclusion, it is possible to say that each of the interviewed people has had different reasons to start working in the field of human services. Moreover, the approaches have been various to act as a unique team with all the challenges presented. However, despite the differences, all of them are working towards the same goal. These individuals are helping the disabled and mentally ill people to find their place in life. One can say that due to their differences, these persons contribute something unique to the activity of Adelbrook as a whole unit.