Recently, I’ve been thinking about ethics in the work place. It’s actually been mulling around in my head for quite sometime. At my own place of business I’ve noticed what appears to be an increase of poor work ethics or maybe in the position I hold I am able to see it more clearly than I have before. I understand that it may be human nature for people to take the easy way out of things, take the path of least resistance in life, but, when it comes to your job is there really room for such short cuts? Especially when we hold a position that directly affects the public. Now, my job doesn’t include the health of an individual, but it does involve their finances. When there is something I can do, within job guidelines, to satisfy a customer and the resolution presents a win win situation for the customer and the company, its done! No matter how difficult the situation, or even if it appears to be beyond my scope of knowledge, I work to satisfy that customer.
However, recently I have become aware of so many of my co-workers that will shovel work under the mat, lay it aside and down right forget to follow up and never attend to the customer’s need. This presents a problem that often grows like an untreated cancer and spreads until the situation is rectified. Even, since my father passed a year ago, my mother has had to deal with banks, insurance companies and many other business entities and it has been astonishing to find how much incompetence she has had to deal with on several occasions. And like my job many of these people have been on the job for 2-5 years working in the same capacity.
This lack of competence or lack of ethical behavior, or maybe a combination of both, concerns me deeply when we begin to speak of healthcare in the U.S.. People are the same whether we are speaking of healthcare or banking and those that would seek short cuts in banking maybe the same personality that will seek short cuts while working in the healthcare field. The person that arrives to work with heavy personal burdens at a financial institution can be the same personality that arrives at a hospital for work. Yet, worse are those that willfully give lesser attention to a patient when they know they could do more.
As the healthcare debate rages on, I hear little talk about improving work conditions for the healthcare workers. I don’t know what checks and balances are in place to protect the patient, but I know as long as humans seek the path of least resistance, there is no guarantee that the healthcare you receive will be competent compassionate healthcare. Unlike most sciences, medical practice is as much an art as it is a science. And, art requires a certain level of sensitivity.