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Title: Career progression and work-life balance of nurses and midwives working on reduced hours in hospital.
Authors: Pace, Ruth
Keywords: Hours of labor
Work-life balance
Human resources
Medical personnel
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Pace R. (2009). Career progression and work-life balance of nurses and midwives working on reduced hours in hospital. (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: In view of the change in the family structure and new demands experienced by employees this study sought to explore the career progression and work-life balance of nurses and midwives working on a reduced hour basis, as a family-friendly working option for parenting purposes. The study also investigated the work experience and the roles assigned to these employees. A descriptive, exploratory survey design was employed as a method of data collection. A self-administered questionnaire, devised and used by Dr N. Lane, was adapted to the local situation, to collect data from the whole population of nurses and midwives who had experienced reduced hour work in their career at the local, State-owned acute general hospital. Reliability and validity tests were carried out on the questionnaire. Face and content validity was determined for the interview schedule which was developed by the researcher, based on the questionnaire results and used to interview all departmental managers in the same hospital. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed to analyse quantitative data using Fisher's Exact Test, content analysis was carried out for qualitative data. The main results highlight that nurses and midwives employed on reduced hours were satisfied with their career development and training. They felt that they had gained a satisfactory level of professional achievement. However, on the other hand they were not satisfied with the progression of their career in terms of promotional achievements. This was also indicated by the managers who believed that such employees in key posts may not perform as effectively as a full-time employee. The study revealed that those nurses and midwives working on reduced hours that had resumed work after an absence for childrearing and did not return to their original post were dissatisfied with their employment position as they felt de-skilled. The interviews revealed that the managers believed such employees may feel de-motivated and experience a reduced sense of belonging especially if they are not allocated to a specific department but are placed in the hospital general relieving pool. The main reason for the deployment of skilled nurses and midwives occurred when the fit between the employee's needs and the needs of their department did not match. The results also found out that the main reason why nurses and midwives were working on reduced hours was to achieve a balance between work and home commitments. However, the attainment of a satisfactory fit between work and life demands was considered to be very complex with various factors involved in both home and work contexts. Childcare provision and children's needs dominated the domestic side while flexibility of hours worked, work policies and regulations featuring on the work aspect. From the managers' interviews it was concluded that where managers had introduced innovative practices in an attempt to address these issues, employees benefitted by achieving an improved work-home balance and the department could address the organisation's need more effectively. The main recommendations emerging from this study are that attempts to help these employees remain in their original post after leave for parenting purposes would benefit both the employee and the organisation. Should this fit be impossible to match, and the employee needs to be deployed, this should be limited to one department, covering several units and wards. This study also revealed that childcare services offered need to related to the needs of the parents using the services especially the opening and closing times of such providers and the quality of the services offered.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2009
Dissertations - FacHScHSM - 2009

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