In recent years there has been a significant increase in the recognition of gerontology as an area of health care practice. Health care providers have formed more gerontological and geriatric professional societies, and health care organizations have directed more research dollars toward issues in aging (Ferraro, 1997). Because the population of older people is growing quickly (Ferraro, 1997), it seems natural that a strong interest has developed in the health care of these people.
In 1998, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences (AUHS) performed a needs assessment in the greater Philadelphia region and determined that the local health care community would benefit from the implementation of a graduate-level gerontological nurse practitioner program at the university. Statistics provided by the national nurse practitioner certifying board revealed that there was a proportionally low number of nurse practitioners certified in gerontology in this geographic location (AUHS, 1998). As a result, the university decided to develop a curriculum to implement such a program. The national certifying body published a program outline, identifying the general areas that should be incorporated into any gerontological nurse practitioner curriculum, and the university used this outline as a general reference for developing the curriculum (AUHS, 1998). The board-certified gerontological nurse practitioner on the faculty developed the curriculum's specific content, and, after its completion, an advisory board consisting of board-certified geriatricians (medical doctors), a gerontological nurse practitioner, and a gerontologist reviewed the curriculum (Davis & Florence, 2000). The advisory board offered two minor suggestions for change that the university incorporated into the course objectives (Davis & Florence, 2000). The final curriculum was approved by the Pennsylvania Boards of Nursing and Medicine and the state Department of Higher Education (Davis & Florence, 2000).
In the Application component, I will analyze this curriculum with respect to the theories of aging presented in the Breadth demonstration and the scholarly research and publications discussing normal aging in the Depth demonstration. Administrators of the AUHS gerontology program could then use these findings to ensure that their curriculum is aligned with current developments in the field of gerontology. (Sally Miller, Application)
In the opening to this student's Application, she begins by giving the reader sufficient context (i.e., the growing recognition of gerontology as a health care specialty) to understand the purpose of her Application project, the analysis of a graduate-level gerontology curriculum. She also connects her Application to the theories she covered in her Breadth and Depth, which she will use in her analysis of this curriculum.
Based on the information presented in the Depth and Breadth components, employee resistance is obviously a complex aspect of organizational change. While many change leaders recognize resistance when it happens, many do not know how to diagnose potential resistance accurately prior to the start of a change initiative. One type of initiative common within organizations involves changes in information technology (IT), which can impact employees in numerous ways. In this Application, I will discuss the role of IT in organizational change, explore issues of employee resistance specific to IT change initiatives, and create a presentation of these concepts to help change leaders develop plans to effectively manage employee resistance. (Jodine Burchell, Application)
Though this example is shorter than the first one, this student also provides sufficient context for her Application project, its connections to the ideas in her Depth and Breadth, and the project’s goals and purpose.
In this Application project, I utilize the principles of Passmore to achieve joint optimization by incorporating the social and technical systems of the USPS and USPIS into the redesign process of the prevention campaign. For example, USPS employees at all levels will participate in the development of brochures, videos, and other forms of prevention material. The postmaster general and his executive staff will be an essential element in the development and deployment of the prevention campaign to all postal employees. From a technical standpoint, I will utilize the most innovative technology available to deliver the prevention message, including redesigning all of the brochures and videos. In addition to postal inspectors conducting in-person training at postal facilities, the prevention videos will play on the postal television network.
Building upon the organizational and social principles of the Breadth component, current literature illustrated the importance of the interrelationship between systems and subsystems, specifically the USPS and USPIS. For instance, the literature review on law enforcement and occupational stress showed that organizational factors influence occupational stress more than traumatic events. This concept will be essential to the deployment of the prevention campaign because postal inspectors provide the training to postal employees and experience frequent exposure to traumatic incidents (Johnson, 2008). Therefore, it is critical to understand how organizational factors affect the postal inspectors responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the USPS.
Prior to rolling out a national campaign on workplace violence, it is important for postal inspectors to understand the psychological well being of the employees implementing the program. Most researchers in current literature agreed that policing is a highly stressful occupation (Jackson-Marsh, 2008; Stephens & Williams, 2010); however, some differed as to whether organizational or operational factors were more of an influence on stress levels (Clarke, 2009; Macaulay et al., 2009). Regardless of the cause, stakeholders need to consider stress levels when implementing a national prevention program for workplace violence that could potentially add to the current operational and organizational stressors of the USPIS. To that end, I plan to employ Passmore's (2008) sociotechnical principles of redesign to reduce or eliminate the potential occupational stress of deploying a new prevention campaign.
Presently, for the USPS and USPIS, the issue of workplace violence has resurfaced as a major issue with the increase in assaults, robberies, and homicides on postal workers. Although this Application project will focus on prevention efforts, it will also include information about the causes of workplace violence, including violence in media, autocratic work environments, domestic violence, anger, and alienation (Madero & Schanowitz, 2004). Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also informed this project. For example, the BLS (2010) showed how economic factors influenced the total number of fatal work injuries in the U.S., which decreased by 17% in 2009. Workplace homicides only decreased by 1%, but the BLS reported a 21% decrease in fatalities among emergency service employees, including police officers, fire fighters, prevention workers, and security guards. Although overall occupational fatalities reached an all time low in 2009, the USPS has already experienced four employee homicides in 2010 versus none in 2009, which has contributed to the renewed prevention efforts in workplace violence (USPIS, 2010).
As previously stated, this employee security initiative targets workplace conflict at all levels before it escalates to violence, a focus that has proven to be the most effective. The initiative is one part of a broad range of security and crime prevention messages designed to safeguard employees, protect postal assets, and secure the infrastructure of the organization. (Gregory Campbell, Application)
This student details the problem his project is designed to address (i.e., workplace violence for postal workers), the project’s theoretical foundations (which stem from his Breadth and Depth components), and the methods he will use to carry out the project.
In the Depth component, I identified five themes from the current literature. I used these five themes, along with the overall ideas of Bandura, Erikson, Goffman, and Lewin, to create the VICTOR program, which has a goal of helping students help themselves. It is purposefully designed to be simple and modular. The simplicity and modularity of the program allow for its rapid expansion, if necessary, and drastic reduction when warranted. The VICTOR program, while not actually implemented, could easily be used to provide a much-needed boost to individuals and businesses. When a person is incarcerated, he or she is usually added to a corrections or rehabilitation system, yet these systems are not readily available in most areas. A program such as VICTOR, which incurs few costs, could provide benefits to prisons, prisoners, local businesses, local banks, local staffing firms, and communities in general. These benefits derive from the increased ability of incarcerated persons to find jobs and change their behavior for the better. This cannot happen, though, without the proper effort. If businesses, banks, staffing firms, and prisons can work together for the greater good of their communities, everyone stands to benefit. (Adam Jones, Application)
In this reflection, the student concisely evaluates the expected results of his Application project and justifies his conclusions with the findings of the earlier components of this KAM. Note that, while he has not yet implemented his Application project, he anticipates the results that the project might have.