Items filtered by date: March 2016
Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:05

Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Legalized?


Marriage is a union between two people that love each other. The two people intending to be joined in marriage are expected to remain committed to each other. Traditionally, it has been assumed that marriage is the union between a man and a woman based on love. The man and woman are joined in marriage so that they can grow their love, bear children and become a family. This traditional perception has, however, come under sharp criticism due to its specification of marriage in relation to a man and a woman. The modern society has seen a rise in other forms of sexual orientations: same-sex couples. Men and women are finding love and affection in individuals of the same sex. Homosexual relations have been on the rise with individual in these relations seeking to be recognized. One area that same sex couples are seeking recognition is in marriage. The traditional that marriage is between two individuals of the opposite sex should be abolished, and same sex marriage should also be recognized and legalized.
Same-sex marriages should be legalized as it does not constitute any illegal practices as provided by the laws and constitutions of the country. Section 1 of the 14th amendment provides that all American citizens (by birth or naturalization) shall not be deprived any privileges, property, life or liberty without any justifiable cause. Same-sex couples comprise the large American citizen population and hence should not be denied an opportunity to happiness (Legal Information Institute, 2013). Same sex couples earn a living like any other heterosexual couples; they pay taxes and abide by the laws of the state.

They should be accorded the same rights and legal protection, which includes the right to marriage. Making same sex marriages illegal will amount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The constitution forbids any form of discrimination against any American citizen. Same-sex couples should be permitted to enjoy their union in public like the heterosexual couples.
Critics, however, argue that permitted same-sex marriage will create an opening for other unnatural sexual habits such as incest and bestiality. There are also concerns that illegal relations such as polygamy and bigamy may also become common (Allen, 2006).

Same-sex marriage should be permitted as the traditional perception of marriage is inaccurate and past its time. Traditionally marriage was believed to be the union between a man and a woman with the intention of starting a family. This description of marriage is skewed if the rising number of single parents can be considered (Black, 2012). Today, marriage is about commitment and strong relations. Two people, who desire to live together as a couple, in-love, should be permitted to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. The purpose of marriage is no longer about child bearing and rearing a family, but about companionship and happiness.

Critics of same-sex marriage have argued that legalizing this union would further destroy the institution of marriage (Gallagher, 2004). The perception of the institution of marriage revolves around religious perspective of marriage as a scared union. In Christianity, for instance, marriage is perceived as the union between a man and a woman with the purpose of procreation, rearing children and raising families. This perception is, however, one sided as people are marrying for other reasons beyond children.

Same-sex marriages should be legalized so as to recognize the union as an ideal family unit for rearing of children. Same-sex couples cannot have children hence opt for adoption. There are many children that desire to be adopted, but find no families to do so. It is estimated that there are over 100000 children in foster care. Legalizing gay marriages will open up opportunities for adoption for the many children that would have otherwise, been left in foster care till adulthood (Klein, 2013).

Critics argue that same sex couples should not be allowed to marry and raise children. The critics argue that children require an optimal environment of a mother and a father for normal development. There is a perception that children raised by same-sex couples have a tendency to adopt the same-sex sexual behavior as they have been raised believing it to be the ideal way of life (Rekers, 2005). Critics argue that children must be raised by father and a mother and legalizing same –sex marriage will hamper these efforts.


Societies have undergone dynamic changes and what was considered abnormal in the past is now a norm. Issues such as same-sex relations and marriage were never considered in the past as the ideal family was believed to be made of a mother and a father. The rise of same-sex relations and gay marriages provides a scenario where societies have to reconsider their stand. Marriage is about love and the desire to commit to one person forever. Two men or two ladies who love each other and desire to marry should not be denied an opportunity to enjoy their happiness. Same-sex marriages should be legalized as it is not prohibited under the constitution and will create the culture of acceptance of differences in sexual orientation.

Allen, D. (2006). An economic assessment of same-sex marriage laws. Retrieved from
Black, B. (2012). Gay marriage: why same-sex couples should get married. Huffington post
Gallagher, M. (2004). (How) will gay marriage weaken marriage? University of St. Thomas law journal. Vol. 2(1); 33
Klein, E. (2013). Sorry Justice Scalia: there is no evidence that gay parents aren’t great parents. Washington post. March 27, 2013
Legal Information Institute (2013). Amendment XIV. Retrieved from
Rekers, G. (2005). Same-sex marriage: not in kid’s interest. Catholic education resource center

Published in Sociology
Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:02

Powerful Professional Practice

Commitment to continuous learning through education, skill development and evidence based practice enables nurses develop powerful nursing practices. Nursing is a health care profession that is constantly changing. How nurses operated ten years ago, is not the same as how they operate in the current society. Technological advancement and new technology have exposed nurses to a new world of constant learning. Nurses can access wider resources and sources of information that before. In my nursing practice, the aspect of continuous learning and skill development is mandatory as it ensures that a nurse remains competent in his or her field. As a nurse, educational advancement is mandatory as its enables an individual to specialize in his field of interest. If a nurse is interested in pediatric care, for instance, he or she should strive to specialize in the field through continued learning and acquisition of experience by working in the pediatric ward.

Nurses should also have impeccable character, inspirational and compassionate. This characteristic demonstrates that nursing is more of a calling than a profession of convenience. Academic qualification is hardly enough to be a competent nurse; an individual must possess excellent morals and values. The morals and values will be an essential guide for nurses in the patient care delivery. A nurse with an impeccable character will make medical judgment based on not only their qualification, but also on their moral judgment. Nurses also need to be compassionate when dealing with their colleagues, patients and their families. A nurse must be able to relate with the patient and their kin and provide support and assurance where necessary. In my nursing practice, these characteristics are demonstrated through the relations that nurses have with the colleague and patients. Nurses share ideas and seek alternatives from each other before undertaking an action or making a decision.

Ponte, P. & Washington, D. (2007). Characteristics of nursing power. Retrieved from

Published in Nursing
Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:00

Medication Errors: Recommendation

The first recommendation in an effort to avert medication administration errors within a health care facility is training and expertise. Nurses should have adequate training and experience to perform specific roles (NSO & CAN, 2009). As a nurse, I intend to notify the nurse or physicians in charge of my inadequacy in medical fields I am not familiar with. As a new nurse, it is mandatory that an individual receives adequate guidance from another experienced nurse before s/he begins to work alone. I will strive to notify the physicians of my incompetence if a situation regarding patient monitoring and medication arises and I may not familiar. This will enable me seek assistance from experienced nurses who will then transfer the knowledge to me in due course. I will also strive to seek assistance in case I encounter a complicated medical situation.

The second recommendation involves reporting of medical findings on a patient. Patients in critical condition e.g. those in the intensive care unit require regular monitoring to determine whether they are improving, or require additional medical intervention (NSO & CAN, 2009). The determination of a patient recovery process is based on the changes that a patient exhibits. It is important, therefore, to indicate all changes that a patient exhibit and report these changes to the physicians. I intend to monitor my patients to determine any changes. Any changes e.g. change in heart rate will be recorded and presented to the physicians. I intend to record all changes that a patient exhibits regardless of how insignificant it appears. A change in a patient medical condition could be an indicator of recovery or deterioration of health. In both cases, alternative medical intervention may have to be considered. With adequate patient information, the physician will determine the next best course for the patient hence avoids fatalities.

NSO & CAN, (2009). Case Study: medical administration errors and failure to monitor. Nurses and medical malpractice

Published in Nursing
Thursday, 24 March 2016 15:56



Unit of analysis
1. Population size
The participants will include twenty-five general education teachers of six communities based after school programs with an experience of working with students with special needs. The community based programs are located in five states in the United States, which are Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Kentucky, New York and Ohio. The participants are female and males aged between twenty to fifty years. Another set of participants will be the six after-school program leaders, 60 parents of students will special needs and 10 students suffering from emotional and Behavioral disorders and autism. These are students who are able to communicate and understand the requirements of this study.

2. Sampling technique
The snowball sampling will be used in recruiting participants (Creswell, 2009).

3. Procedure for sampling approach

The researchers will give surveys to participants to complete and further identify other appropriate individuals to be part of the study. The population will not have gatekeepers based on the type of recruitment. All participants will be given informed consent before carrying out the survey. They will also on the benefit of the study towards community teaching and improving services and education offered to students with emotional behavioral disorders and autism in after-school programs. The participants will also be informed about the risks involved in the study. This will help them have the liberty of withdrawing at any point of the study and that their refusal to participate will not have any impact on future services to the community.
The participants were also informed that their contributions will remain discrete, and no personal information, such as their names will be mentioned in the findings. This means that their identity will remain anonymous. The consent will also inform the participants that their contributions will be in a safe place for only the researcher to use and destroyed immediately after analysis. They will be free to contact the researcher at any time they have concerns and questions (Cozby, 2012).

Creswell, J (2009) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications. Cozby, P (2012). Methods in behavioral research. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education. ISBN: 9780078035159

Published in Education
Thursday, 24 March 2016 15:50

Linear Programming


Linear programming is defined as the use of a variety of linear constraints so as to determine the best value. An example of a constraint is the equation x+2y< 14. The linear programming model is used in the everyday decision making process in organizations and other similar sectors. For instance, a manager would use the linear programming model to determine the ideal step to undertake when faced with a complex decision making scenario. Most of the problems and decision making dilemmas that are faced in most organizations can be presented using the linear programming model.

Organizations can use the linear programming model to determine network flow problems within the organizations or determine the cost effective method of executing some of its task (Gass, 2003). Calculations using the linear programming model involve two or more variables. There are several forms of variables; the integer and binary variables are known as the real variable which means that one or more of the variables should be an integer. The second form of variables is the semi-continuous variables take the numbers between their minimum and their maximum.

In a general linear programming equation, the linear constraints are placed on a graph creating a y and x plane. The reason of putting the constraints in the x and y coordinates is to enable an individual find the intersection points hence determine the highest and lowest values. Simply put a linear programming model consists of a linear equation that can either be minimized or maximized (Gass, 2003). The figures such as 2 and 14 in the equation above represent the constant matrices, whereas the x and y represent the unknown variables. Problem constraints can be used to demonstrate a linear programming problem, for instance, a12x2 +a13x3. Non-negative variables can also be used to represent linear programming models gains, for example, x1>0.

Gass, S. (2003). Linear programming. Courier Dover publications

Published in Information Technology
Thursday, 24 March 2016 15:43

Texas nurse practice act 2009.


Nursing practice requires specialized knowledge, skills and effectual decision making. The career of nursing take divergent paths, it is practiced in varied setting, with varied clients, different diseases, and various therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, nurses are mobile and sophisticated and work in environments that are changing and asymmetrical consumers. Nursing practice poses a risk to cause harm to the public if practices by professionals who are incompetent. This created the need to govern nursing practice through legislations, which are enacted at the state level. The history of nursing practice acts run back to more than 100 years ago when states enacted laws to protect public health and welfare. State legislatures are mandated to legislate nursing practice act. The mission of the act is to protect the public from incompetence practice from registered nurses. Texas board of nursing is given the authority to control nursing practice in Texas.

Texas nursing act came into effect in 1909, and has undergone several amendments since then to meet the dynamic nature of nursing practice. The original act sought to define professional nurses to distinguish them from other practitioners in health care setting. However, it lacked essential aspect such as education requirement for nurses, licensing of nurses and authority of the nursing board. In 1923, the board was given authority, and practicing nurses were required to register with the nursing board. The act was codified in 1925. Since then, the act has undergone several milestones.

In 2009, the act was amended to give the nursing board power and authority to order or request chemical dependency analysis or a forensic psychological evaluation of a practicing nurse. The amendments were effected as a result of the increasing number of disciplinary cases affecting nurses in the state. According to Mcdonald, Mackay and Weitz law firm, the number of disciplinary cases under investigation has significantly increased from 2004 to 2894 to 3904 in 2006. However, the number of cases that go to full investigation and determination is much small. This is as a result of vibrant attorneys who protect nurses during disciplinary hearings. According to Texas board of nursing, in 2010, 16,000 complaints on nurses’ conduct were received. However, only a small percentage of these complain were investigated. This is mainly due to lack of evidence.

Impact on Nursing Practice

Texas nursing practice act is termed as one of the strictest act in united state. In 2009, Texas legislation passed controversial legislation to assist in the investigation and prosecution of nurses. In 2009, statutory amendment to Texas nursing act as proposed by House Bill 3961, came into effect. These amendments were pushed by the executive staffs of the Texas nursing board in an efforts to avoid difficulties and challenges they experience during prosecution of disciplinary and licensure cases that involve practice of registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and advanced practice nurses.
The executive proposed these amendments in response to challenges they encounter while facing attorneys who are opposed to the abuses and devices that the nursing board staff use in licenses investigations and hearing of contested cases. The amendments require the board to adopt rules pertain to practice and procedure associated with it new ability to request forensic psychological evaluations and polygraph report.

These changes will affect how license defense cases are handled. The board staffs have been given power to request and order a chemical dependency analysis or a forensic psychological evaluation of a practicing nurse. The new act mandates the board to utilize its temporary suspension authority incase a nurse result are positive for drug or alcohol use. The amendment also requires temporary suspension of a nurse who is deemed to be non-compliant to TPAN standards. According to TPAN one is noncompliant for causes not related to drug and alcohol abuse such as the inability to secure employment or disqualification to proceeding medical condition. This increases the probability of nurses to be suspended without a good reason or evidence.

On a positive side, the new legislation require the board to demonstrate that a probable cause exist that if a nurse continue to practice will cause eminent danger to the public health and welfare. It is clear that the board proposed the Bill so as to legitimize its use of polygraph tests as a tool in forensic psychological evaluation. However, this practice is still illegal under Texas Case Law and Supreme Court ruling. It opens a battle ground between state law and federal statutory laws, which prohibits admission of polygraph tests. The test is also in line with the overall goal of protecting the public from harm through nurses’ misconduct or incompetence. The new tests also solve the problem of lack of evidence to prosecute errant nurses, who in the past have been evading justice due to lack of evidence.

The psychological, emotional and mental status of a nurse is very crucial during her daily duties. It is imperative to ensure that decisions made during his or her daily duties are not under the influence of nay substance. Therefore, the amendments seek to ensure that nurses are not under the influence of any prohibited substance. This is likely to increase sanity in nursing practice and protect patients from actions and decisions that are harmful.

Personal Critique

The number of nurses testing positive for alcohol use in Texas and many stats are many. The consequences of testing positive, as prescribed in the Texas nursing act, are severe. They include suspension of license temporarily and possible deregistration from the nursing board according to the magnitude of the case. Many nurses usually have a rough time defending themselves against alcohol and substance abuse. The decision by the Texas nursing board to include ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate test has increased the number of nurses testing positive for substance abuse. The new tests are highly sensitive compared to the previous one, which tested for ethanol. The primary intoxicating ingredient in alcohol is ethanol and a person can only test positive if alcohol is still in his or her system. Metabolism of alcohol is rather a faster process, and ethanol testing is likely to test negative in most instances. However, ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate tests are highly sensitive and can detect alcohol use, even if the nurse used it several days ago. The board is also using very low cut-off levels that are likely to capture very low ingestion of alcohol.
The board seems not considerate that a nurse can test positive for alcohol from work relate environment. Several incident exposure to hand sanitizers, consumption of some food containing alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, sustained exposure to gasoline, mouth washers, over the counter medications and natural herbal medications. These substances are likely to cause the test to be positive. Therefore, the board should not over emphasize the use of these highly sensitive tests. Despite the fact that the nursing board provided nurses with information pursuant to this testing, nurses should also be provided with a list of substances that are likely to yield positive results. The board did not put the necessary communication channel to inform nurses on how to avoid positive results, which is a standard practice for Texas physician health program.

Nurses require experienced attorneys to represent them in disciplinary hearings. These attorneys require huge payment, which not is available to some nurses. The act also pays a lot attention in punishing nurses for substance abuse while as it is evident that many health institution have note invested heavily on helping nurses to deal with the daily trauma and stress they encounter daily.

Noticing of disciplinary action. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.
Texas BON: investigations and disciplinary actions. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.
Investigatory and disciplinary process. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.
Louis Leitcher (2013). Important update for Texas nurses on a board order: Texas board of nursing start screening for EtG and EtS. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.
Recent amendments to nursing practice act and the subsequent granting of powers to Texas board of nursing. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.
History of Texas nursing practice act. Texas nurses association. Retrieved from On 29/6/2013.
Texas occupation code and rules regulating the practice of nursing. Texas nursing board. Retrieved from on 29/6/2013.

Published in Nursing
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 16:57

New York health insurance exchange

The federal affordable care act requires states to operate health insurance exchange by 2014. Insurance exchange us a form of organized market that will help will citizens to shop and enroll for health insurance from private health care providers. The program is expected to provide affordable health insurance to more than 23 million people. The federal affordable care act establish the option for states: states can formulate their exchange or adopt the federal exchange.

New York has established a health insurance exchange referred to as the New York health benefit exchange. The exchange was established following the directive of the state governor on April 2012. Following the executive order 42, a declaration letter was drafted and submitted to the centers for Medicare and Medicaid. On December 14, 2012, New York received conditional approval for the application of the exchange program. New York health benefit exchange will start receiving open enrollment from October 2013 and the coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. The exchange has provision for the establishment of five regional advisory committees to offer advice and counsel on the implementation of the exchange. They committees have regional and professional balance. This makes New York one of the states that are within the federal act requirement for the submission of blueprint application.

New York health benefit insurance will play a crucial role in increasing the number of New Yorkers covered by health insurance. The exchange provides a flexible choice where individual will compare benefits of each policy they intend to buy. It incorporates the private sector increasing its competitiveness. The private providers will be free to offer competitive policies to attract customers. This will benefit consumers of the policy and possibly lower the cost of the policy.

The insurance provides cover for individuals with pre-existing conditions under the New York bridge plan. This will ensure applicant with pre-existing conditions are not discriminated or charged unfairly. It is estimated that the new insurance cover will increase the number of New York citizens covered with health insurance especially among the elderly and the poor. The intent of the exchange is to help residents who are not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid buy insurance covers from private care providers.

The exchange will be open to small businesses and individuals. This is likely to increase the affordability of the insurance. Private individuals will have access to tax credits to help them purchase the exchange. Applicants will be free to assess whether they are eligible for free or subsidize health insurance cost. The program also allows small businesses with 50 or less employees to provide health insurance cover to staffs. These businesses may be entitled for tax credits for staff covers purchased through the exchange.

The state provides an online calculator that will allow potential applicant to calculate the cost of their policy before they apply. This will increase transparency and remove the ambiguities associated with Medicare and Medicaid. The insurance bought by an individual citizen will depend on his or her income. However, under the federal act, there certain standards that all the vendors of the service have to meet. This ensures buyers of the insurance get the basic coverage.

Health insurance exchange. Retrieved from on 24/6/2013
New York health benefit exchange. Retrieved from on 24/6/2013.

Published in Nursing

Many organizations today are putting much focus and effort on ways of enabling their workforce is effective and efficient. Organizations all round the globe has established programs and structures that help employees boost their performance and to perform in their best level. These organizations align the programs and structures with the goals and objectives of the organization. This effort has now come to be known as Performance Management. Organizations have generated the system of evaluating and appraising employee’s performance as a means of measuring and gauging productivity in operations and situations that are work related.

This paper evaluates the contribution of the management of individual performance to the overall performance of the whole organization. The paper will present in-depth examination of factors impacting on Individual performance and the overall importance of the organization to have a robust system for performance management system. This is through the various approaches of performance management, cultural diversity and performance techniques and tools, issue on compensation and reward and finally the performance measurements and appraisal.

1. Approach performance management
Considering the approaches to performance management involve a discussion of inherent key issues and processes and how they impact the organization. Examining these processes and approaches indicate the main reason that the organization has chosen a specific approach in its performance management system. The main reason for adopting a given approach is to improve organizational and individual performance.

A. High performance work system

Performance in organizations enables organizations to attain organizational performance at a high level. This is because of the firm’s ability to manage the employees (Armstrong and Baron, 2004). High targets of performance are achieved via the effectiveness of the required skills and knowledge in applying the effort needed in work and having the appropriate behavior. Organizations that utilize the High performance work systems (HPWS) have adopted the modern day approach related to scientific/ mass production management. The use of HPWS approach leads to the greatest potential of a company to attain and sustain its competitive advantage. This is because the organizations use this highly distinctive managerial approach that enables people attains high performance.
The key dimensions of HPWS according to Jefferet Pfeffer are; 1.) Selective means of hiring new employees 2.) Decentralized decision making by self-managed teams 3.) Employment security 4.) Extensive training, 5.) High Compensation contingent for organizational; performance, 6.) reduce barriers and status distinctions and 7.) Extensive sharing of performance and financial information all through the organization. HPWS is mainly concerned with the empowerment, involvements and commitment of employees in the organization and not controlling them.

B. management by objectives

Management by Objectives is an approach where the subordinate managers write to their superiors about performance goals in the future and their steps and plans for achieving these goals. Management by Objectives presents an extensive and in-depth process of management. The approach is helpful in performance management for it enables organizations to examine whether employees outcomes and work are consistent with the set goals and objectives. The approach specifies the outcomes and work that will guarantee the firm of its success in the implementation of business strategies (Noe et al.2000).
Performance management process through the objective approach presents employees with the groundwork layout of excellence. It aligns the individual objectives of employees with the overall organization’s strategic mission and plan. It sets out a clear concept of employee’s contribution to the attainment of businesses objectives. the set performance expectations and goals determine the behaviours, actions and results of employees.

C. Human performance technology system

The technology used in the workplace determine if performance management practices are conducted by a group of employees or individually., in case technology is designed for work carried out by an individual, performance appraisal, goal setting, jobs and reward system will focus on the work behaviours of an individual. Similarly, if technology is designed in a way that is highly interdependent for groups, the performance management will focus on the group behaviours.
The level of employee involvement in an organization determines the nature and practices of management practices. Organizations operating under high bureaucratic levels suffer from low participation level among employees. In such organizations, it is essential to formalize and administer rewards systems, goal setting and performance appraisal by staff personnel and the management staff. Organization with high-involvement, on the other hand, requires heavy participation in performance management. This involves both the employees and the management staff setting appraisal, rewards and goals on performance. In high involvement organizations, employees in all stages of performance management are participating and are involved in administering and designing practices.

2. Performance tools and techniques and culture diversity

Organizational success is achieved via an integrated and strategic approach aiming to improve performances among individuals and teams through developing their capabilities (Armstrong and Baron, 2005). Despite the fact that organizations have been driven by competitive pressures to ensure performance management, firms have used performance management as a means of driving and supporting culture change. It further place importance on self- development and individual performance (Fletcher and Perry, 2001). This means that in setting goals for performance management at an individual level, it is essential to acknowledge the issue of cultural diversity. The culture of an individual does impact on the appraisal process.

Shih et al (2005) indicates that the context affects operations at an international, national and at the organizational level. Therefore, the culture of a nation is a vital variable that impacts on the establishment of performance management. Understanding cultural diversity l will help in the selection of the right tools and approaches for performance measurement. Managers will identify the aspects that need to be measured since they are aware that they at a point of diversity. The managers are responsible for ensuring that employees work well in a diverse environment. A tool to assist employees is the Cultural Adaptability Program that will help employees enhances their skills in motivating others management of cross-cultural teams and communication.

Performance management is a driver of the cultural environment and involves ensuring that performance management systems and career planning in the organization facilitate harmonious and inclusive workplace (Hofsede, 2001). This can, for example, involve establishing objective and fair management system. This includes the incorporation of measurable standards for evaluating job performance.

Ensuring that opportunities for posting, training and assignments are accessible to all employees based on objective criteria. Last is that the promotion process should be related to job requirements. Organizations should take into account the ability of employees to work and manage diverse teams.

Another vital tool to ensure a harmonious and inclusive environment in the workplace is facilitating beneficial interaction and understanding among colleagues with different profiles. Some of the practices which organizations can incorporate to ensure a harmonious and inclusive workplace culture are as follows;

1.) workplace designs; the workplace has to support the interaction among employees.
2.) workplace activities; it is essential to organize informal and formal activities to encourage the interaction of employees of different departments and profiles
3.) employee networks: this is through employee mentorship and group’s programs as a support system for advising and helping employees.
4.) Buddy system this system will help new employees to settle into the firm. the program will guide them.

For an organization to address the issues of diversity, it has to consider the question on what practices, policies and ways of thinking and organizational culture different from other b other groups. There is a need for the organization to undertake the necessary changes so as to meet the diverse workforce needs and further maximize each worker’s potential. Cultural diversity in the workplace can be dealt with when every person acknowledges that people have differences according to their culture, generation and physical aspects. The employees should also recognize that each person has his or her own knowledge that is useful to the organization.

Last is the assessment of employees is also a tool to measure the preparedness of an employee to embrace diversity. This involves examining the employee’s attitudes and how they cope with others. It will be possible to find out the issues that might hinder them from interacting with other employees.

3. Rewards and compensation

The reward system involves all the mechanisms used to distribute and determine the tangible and intangible returns as a result of employment relationships. The tangible returns such as compensation can be in the form of benefits or cash compensation. The intangible returns include employment security, status and recognition, learning opportunities and challenging work. Not all these returns have a relation with performance management systems since not all theses returns are attributed to performance management. This is because all return types as are given on the basis of past performance (Schraeder, 2007).
Performance management systems are meant for different purposes. The first function is the strategic purpose thank link the activities of employees with the goals and mission of the organization. The performance management systems ensure to maximize the extent that employees display the intended behaviours and wanted results. The performance management systems also serve as the administrative purpose for they lead to the production of information needed in HR decision-making and in the reward system such as disciplinary action, termination and promotion (Rummler and Brache, 1995).

Generally the performance management systems are a vital factor for determining if an organization is capable of managing its talent and resources effectively. Performance management gives information on the person to be trained and the specific areas of training. It also shows the employees deserving rewards and the type of skill that is lacking at a unit or organizational level.

A review of the employee’s performance can be done after six months or within an interval of three months. It is appropriate and convenient that completion of appraisal coincide with the rewards after the period that an employee receives information about his or her performance. These rewards will motivate and encourage good performance in the firm.
Rewards, recognition, and compensation are the key drivers to improve performances of employees. Recognition and reward are mainly used by organizations to influence predominance and behavior of employees. A reward and compensation system cannot be well implemented up to when there is a sound process of performance management that is perceived by all employees as being equitable and fair (Redman and Wilkinson, 2009).

Most forms give rewards to employees in the form of bonuses and other different types of compensations. This is with the firm’s expectation of enhancing performance. In order for the organization to achieve its intended goal, it is essential that it provides compensations and reward in a timely way and close to the time of the occurrence of desired behavior. The common perception that people have on rewards is that they are mostly in monetary forms. On the contrary, non-monetary recognition is a valuable tool that can be used to influence the behavior of employees. Recognition can be simple such as complementing an employee for his or her noteworthy performance. It is entail for firms to select rewards perceived to be valuable to an employee (Schreader & Jordan, 2011).

Cummings and Worley (2009, p 435) indicate that the reward systems play a vital role in the design of an organization. The authors also indicate that the rewards system has to be effective by being aligned with employee involvement, structure and strategy of work. They show that the main features of a rewards system involve group vs. individual reward, performance based versus job/person based, there is the external and internal equity, security, and rewards mix, centralization, hierarchy and seniority, the external and internal equity of a reward meant that when the reward is compared to other organizations are similar (Jansen, 2009).

The reward and compensation system enable an employee to work and be motivated in the attainment of the desired goals. They will trust the system by believing that their effort and hard work will be compensated and rewarded. The value expectancy model according to Cummings and Worley (2009, p436) is the availability of rewards and timely provision of the rewards. the model shows that reward has to be related with the goal; meaning that an employee is rewarded after accomplishing a certain goal. Conversely, the reward is decreased when an employee does not achieve the desired goal. the value expectancy model also shows that compensation and rewards should last for a long time and has to be visible for all to see and other employee knows that the reward is available (Lawler, 2000).

The rewards can also be in the form of job title, authority and promotions. Research evidence indicate that the participation of employee in the administration and designing of rewards leads to increased understanding among employees and have a sense of commitment and control ( Cummings & Worley, 2009, p 445). The reward system has to feature job/ person based or the performance based.
Heneman, Fisher and Dixon (2001) show that a reward system should have value comparisons, analysis of unit, reward levels, reward measures, reward forms, communication, timing and administrative level. the two main forms of reward are the monetary and non monetary (Heneman, Fisher, & Dixon, 2001). The monetary forms include the cash value in the form of pay increase, base pay, stock options, bonus pay and benefits. The nonmonetary is the less traditional types, such as training, psychological aspects of work and recognition.

Unit analysis according to (Heneman, Fisher, & Dixon, 2001) involves the allocation of rewards on the basis of the responsibilities and duties of employees or according to their qualifications. Reward measure is an evaluation an employee performance before giving him or her reward. Finally reward level shows the allocation of a reward on the basis of unit performance, group performance, or individual performance (Mullins 2005).

4. Performance appraisals and measurements

Companies use performance measurements and appraisal for various reasons. Performance appraisal is used by an organization so as to communicate the weakness and strengths of an employee. It highlights the areas for continual development as well as areas in need of improvement. The practice gives the employee an opportunity to discuss vital issues and areas of concern with the manager. The performance appraisal system is, therefore, a vital tool for effective communication for it facilitates dialogue between an employee and manager. Performance appraisal is also used to determine the type and amount of compensation and reward to be received by an employee within a certain period of working (Moorhead & Griffin 2007).

Performance appraisal is usually done once in a year. It involves serious scrutiny of key elements and further poses a challenge in holding open talks between the employee and manager. The long duration taken for performance appraisals further poses the challenge of recalling the performance in various areas during the entire year. Therefore employee appraisals are normally conducted using the most recent performance before appraisal (Armstrong, 2000). An effective means of evaluating work performance of an employee is carrying out multiple progress appraisals during the calendar year.

Professionals have, in fact, agreed that performance discussions have to be conducted frequently. The frequent performance appraisals present motivational and positive purposes through enhancing and allowing dialogue to take place between and employee and manager. This, therefore, leads to the establishment of trust and further ensuring that performance is as per the organizational goals. The continual appraisals on performance are effective in continual assessment of performance more than the ones conducted ones in a year. This leads to the establishment of trust for managers have the ability to review performance in a fair and accurate manner (Guest, 1987).

The managers should beware of errors and their own biases in carrying out appraisals. Lack of preparedness is a contributing factor that hinders fairs and trustworthy performance appraisal. When the manager lacks the means and clue of conducting appraisal, his judgment is likely to be biased and subjective. Milkovich and Newman (2008, p 333) present a list of errors that can occur during the appraisal process. These are;

1. Horn Errors, which occur when the appraisals rates an employee poorly in all performance areas because of a mistake that occurred in one area.
2. Halo error ; Halo error occur when the manager offers favorable rating of an employee's job performances because of good performance in a single area.
3. First impression error. This is an error that occurs when the appraiser develops positive or negative opinions towards the employee even before conducting the interview.
4. Leniency error ; occurs when the employee is rated higher than he deserves by the appraiser.
5. Recency error; is the opposite of the first impression error. This error occurs when the appraiser does not use performance from the very beginning of the review process. This leads to positive or negative conclusions that are not guided by performance.
6. Severity error ; occurs when an employee is rated lower than he deserves.
7. Clone error happens when the appraiser rates an employee favorably as a result of his or her personality and behavior and not the real performance of the employee.
8. Central tendency error; the error occurs when the appraisals fails to use individual ratings on the rate and extremes of his or her performance as being at average.

The appraisers have to be aware of these errors. They further need training that will help them avoid and recognize the various types of errors. Giving employee’s fair and accurate performance appraisal is essential so as to determine whether the employee’s goals are aligned to the objectives and goals of the organization. Having an effective Performance System is essential to deal with challenges arising from performance appraisal errors. the effectiveness of this system is determined by incorporating a section that discusses the acceptance level of an individual to make the necessary changes so as to improve performance.

The system will also enable employees to express their concerns about the changes to be made. Therefore, the appraisal process provides an opportune time for the appraiser to provide employees with the in-depth reasons he suggested changes to be made so as to improve performance. the process is also a time to inform the employee on the need to be committed to changes especially if a person has negative feelings about the changes required. The performance approval is further the best time to explain to an employee on white he or she heard, understood and will place into consideration the areas to be changes. the appraiser will further inform the individual on the need to follow the directive given by the higher managers on the need to abide by the change process (Druckers 1954).

Performance appraisal can be web based so that they consume less time. the web-based process further has the advantage of accuracy since the managers will experience a less daunting process. the web –based appraisal further helps to combine all the necessary information without overlooking others (Boselie, Dietz, and Boon 2005).


Performance Management system that is effective include approaches, goals and practices for setting goals, issuing a reward set and performance appraisal. This paper has shown how individual performance management does impact on the overall performance of the organization. Having an effective Performance Management System enables easy setting of goals, performance appraisal and rewards. These aspects have to align so as to give the organization the ability attract and retain qualified employees. Organizations should ensure that it follows the guidelines of performance appraisals, rewards, and goals so as to minimize errors and issues within the organization. Frequent and consistent performance management review will help to ensure that individual goals of employees are aligned to overall goals of the organization. An effective system for Performance management will ensure information is given and fair awarding. Therefore, it is possible to achieve a successful workplace for all people.

Armstrong M (2000) The Name Has Changed But Has The Game Remained The Same? Employee Relations 22(6):576-593
Armstrong M And Baron A (2004) Managing Performance: Performance Management In Action. London Cipd (Chartered Institute Of Personal And Development)
Boselie P Dietz G And Boon (2005) Commonalities And Contradiction In Research On Human Resources Management And Performance Human Resources Management Journal 15(3):67-94
Druckers P.F (1954) The Practices Of Management New York Harped And Row Publishers
Guest D.E (1987) Human Resources Management And Industrial Relations Journal Of Management Studies 24(5):503-521
Hofsede G (2001) Culture Consequences Comparing Values Behaviours Institutions And Organization Across Nations 2nd Edition London Thousand Oaks Sage
Jansen E. P Et Al (2009) National Differences In Incentive Compensation Practices: The Differing Roles Of Financial Performance Management In The United States And Netherlands Accounting Organization And Society 34(1) 58-84
Lawler .E.E (2000) Rewarding Excellence: Play Strategies For The Economy San Francisco: Mosey Bass Chichester Wiley
.Moorhead And Griffin (2007) Organizational Behavior: Managing People And Organization 9th Den Boston Western
.Mullins L.J (2005) Management And Organizational Behavior 7th Den Harlow New York: Prentice Hall/ Financial Times
Redman And Wilkinson (2009) Contemporary Human Resources Management: Text And Cases 3rd Edn Harlow
.Rummler And Brache (1995) Improving Performance : How To Manage The White Space On The Organization Chart 2nd Edn San Francisco Joss-Bass
Schraeder Et Al (2007) A Critical Examination Of Performance Appraisals : An Organization Friends Or Foe Journal For Quality And Participation 30(1) 20-25
Tyson S (2206) Essential Of Human Resources Management 5th Edn Oxford Butter Worth- Heinemann

Cummings, T.G., & Worley, C.G. (2009). Organization Development & Change (9th Ed.)

Mason, OH: South-Western.

Heneman, R. L., Fisher, M. M., & Dixon, K. E. (2001, November). Reward And Organizational Systems Alignment: An Expert System. Compensation And Benefits Review, 33(6), 18-29. Retrieved April 9, 2011, From ABI/INFORM Global.

Milkovich, G. T. & Newman, J. M. (2008). Compensation, (9th Ed.). New York : Mcgraw-Hill/Irwin

Published in Management
Saturday, 19 March 2016 10:08

Pediatric Influenza

Pediatric influenza is an insightful article by Anna Bramley, Joseph Bresee and Lyn Finelli. The article analyzes pediatric influenza and its prevalence in USA. Influenza is a particularly common condition that affects children more often than adults. An adult can acquire influenza at least three times a year, whereas a child can get infected ten to twelve times in a year. The severity of influenza infection also differs in adults and children (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). An influenza infection in an adult can last up to seven days whereas a child with influenza can battle with the condition for three weeks. The prevalence of influenza among individuals is associated with the tendency to confuse the ailments with the common cold. Influenza and cold have almost similar symptoms. Influenza in children can cause high fever, chills, respiratory distress, coughing, and tiredness.

Bramsley & Finelli (2009) indicates that influenza infections in children have seen a rise in hospital visits, hospitalization of children and the death of some children. There are three different types of influenza. Type-A influenza is a viral infection that affects human beings, as well as animals. Sub-types of influenza-A include H1N1 and H3N2. Type B influenza is related to genetic lineage of individuals and does not have subtypes. Unlike Type-A, type B influenza is less severe and does not result to a pandemic. Type C influenza is less predominant and lead to epidemics. The most common forms of influenza are thus Type-A and B are most common.

According to Bramsley & Finelli (2009) influenza in children should not be ignored as it can result to a severe form of infection such as pneumonia. There is the need for populations to seek preventive measures so as to avert the adverse effects of the ailments. Vaccination is one of the most preventive measures that ensure that children are not adversely affected by influenza. Influenza vaccinations are available for children aged 6 months to 18 years. Currently, there is no influenza vaccine suitable for children below 6 months hence vaccination is not recommended. There are also basic hygienic practices that are believed to minimize the spread of influenza virus (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Hand washing, for instance, has been found to reduce infection as the virus is weakened by soap and disinfectants. Practices such as covering of the mouth when sneezing also minimizes infection as respiratory droplets from a patient can be passed through sneezing and coughing.

Bramsley & Finelli (2009) also considers antiviral treatment as a reliable mode of treatment of influenza. Antiviral therapy is currently recommended for high risk children with influenza. High-risk children are those children exposed to the virus during vaccination. These children also live in an environment with high influenza activity. High risk children are also those children whom influenza vaccination is contraindicated. Some children, for various underlying medical reasons, are not supposed to take influenza vaccines. These are children below 6 months, children with asthma and chronic pulmonary diseases as well as children with immunosuppressive conditions. Antiviral therapy should be used on infected children regardless of a history of vaccination against the ailment (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Children confirmed to have pneumonia as a result of persistent influenza infection should also be considered for antiviral therapy.

There are two classes of antiviral agents that can be used to counter influenza. The first class is the adamantanes which is effective only in the treatment of Type-A influenza. The treatment of Type-A influenza should be done using adamantanes, and other forms of antiviral such as zanamivir and rimantadine. This claim was made after the emergence of H3N2 in 2006. H3N2 was found to be resistant to adamantanes as the sole treatment therapy. The second category of antiviral is the neuraminidase inhibitors used for the treatment of Type-A and type-B influenza. The use of the antiviral agents with other medications as mentioned results to fast relief from influenza and a reduction of days spent battling the diseases. In children, antiviral therapy is essential as it reduces the duration of the infection, improve lung function and reduce asthma related complications. Studies indicate that the sooner antiviral medication is started on a patient, the sooner the recovery process begins (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Neuraminidase has been found to be most effective when administered 48 hours after influenza symptoms are noted.

Anti viral medication such as oseltamivir and zanamivir has been found to be useful in the deterrence of influenza infections in individuals living in environments with high quantities of the influenza virus. Anti viral medication for prevention and treatment of influenza is safe, effective and tolerable. Anti viral medication is, however, used only in high-risk children and not any child suspected to have influenza. Anna Bramley, Joseph Bresee and Lyn Finelli article on pediatric influenza is quite informative, and with the rising incidences of different types of influenza, the article provides readers with detailed information on influenza. The public must be informed, of effective intervention strategies to prevent infections and spreads.

Bramsley & Finelli (2009). Pediatric Influenza. Pediatric nursing. Vol. 35(6); 335

Published in Nursing

An invitation Letter to the Embassy of the United States in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Dear Consul,

Re: Request for Tourist Visa for Idrissa Jalloh
My name is Johanese Sandy, and I am a citizen of the United States of America, working as a registered nurse with Kaiser Permanente of the mid Atlantic states. Copies of my identification documents, including birth certificate are attached as supporting documents.

I wish to invite Mr. Idrissa Jalloh to visit the United States and attend the christening of my son Johanese Sandy Jr. Mr. Idrissa Jalloh is a close family friend. His attendance is highly significant because of the friendship held in high regards between the two families. He is a business man and the Chief Executive Officer of Kubia Business Center, in Sierra Leone. Identification documents including copies of passport and certificate of birth are attached. I am requesting that you assist him obtain a tourist visa, in order to attend the ceremony as my guest.

I am a home owner, and will provide boarding and all the requirements necessary to make his stay in the United States a memorable visit. I will cover all costs of his travel and stay in the country, until the time when he will return to Sierra Leone after the ceremony. This will include food, medical insurance, housing, travel within the country, and other personal expenses. I have also provided copies of my home ownership and financial documentation for additional details. He will visit and return to Sierra Leone immediately due to his busy schedule as a CEO and his engagement in other businesses.
I am grateful for your consideration of the attached tourist visa application. Do not hesitate to contact me through the above address in case of any required clarification. Thank you.

Johanese Sandy

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