Nursing: A Case Study on A Potential Conflict Regarding Brad Smith’s Dilemma

A Case Study on A Potential Conflict Regarding Brad Smith’s Dilemma

Smith’s Dilemma

As a professional director of a Memorial Hospital laboratory, Smith finds himself in a challenging dilemma regarding his decision to begin his postgraduate studies. Smith manages a proficient staff of 67 employees in a large, complex, and highly occupied laboratory that requires his continuous commitment. The entire management role requires Smith to execute both evening and weekend tasks despite his commitment and excellence at the job. His decision of pursuing a master’s degree is emphasized with the fact that he has to use it as evidence for entry into higher levels of management within the field of medicine and healthcare.

However, the timing of these studies will overlap with the weekend as well as evening tasks at the Memorial Hospital. As such, this decision may have negative impacts on the effective management of the healthcare services provided by the laboratory under Smith’s leadership. Nevertheless, Smith has initiated a family with his wife and is in dire need of their well-paying jobs to cater for their daily needs. The greatest dilemma exists whereby the incumbent manager has to meet his family needs, attend classes, and at the same time ensure smooth running of the laboratory activities.    This paper explores Smith’s challenges in three different ways. First, the paper looks at the reasons that compel Smith to attend the graduate school alongside the needs that the degree attained would help him to fulfill. Secondly, the paper discusses other alternatives that can be used to satisfy Smith’s needs before providing a discussion on whether Memorial Hospital have any responsibility for him in this context and how they would help him out.

An Overview of the Reasons as to why Smith Wants To Attend Graduate School and the Needs that the Graduate School would help him to fulfill

According to Hancock and Isaac (2015), different people choose to further their education for different reasons. In this case, Smith is seeking to pursue a master’s degree as a stepping-stone to a higher level of management position in the field of healthcare. Pursuing a master’s degree will help the incumbent laboratory manager to further his knowledge in not only the field of medicine but also other related disciplines such as psychiatry. Master’s degrees are always associated with enhancement of knowledge, expertise skills and professional experience required in pursuing a number of tasks that one might encounter in his or her line of work.

Hancock and Isaac (2015) add that one’s decision to pursue higher studies is always accompanied with the need of salary increment and the urge to appropriately fit in the modern technologically changing society.  For instance, Smith will acquire more skills that will augment the current ones and improve service delivery not only at the current workplace but also in new environments where he may seek for employment in higher capacities. This decision can also help Smith to fulfill other needs such as taking care of his family(Jacobs, 2013).  Human wants are always unlimited and Smith may have a desire to improve the living standards of his family despite the better pay they receive at their current workstations.

In this perspective, Smith would look after increasing his current salary to acquire more sophisticated services such as means of transport that may further improve his living conditions alongside that of his family members. Nonetheless, acquiring a master’s degree is a direct fulfillment of one’s educational needs, which would further encourage him to acquire of a Degree in Doctor of Philosophy (Phd). As such, masters would act as a binding element that helps in catering Smith’s emotional needs as far as the desire of living a better life is concerned.

Alternative Ways of Satisfying Smith’s Needs

According to Hancock and Isaac (2015), it is always important to understand ones fundamental needs before exploring whether there are any alternative ways to help him or her. In this case, Smith’s fundamental need is to pursue a master’s degree and see it help him to seek for higher management positions in different organizations. Seemingly, Smith is not embraced with the better pay that the two receive from their current employers. Therefore, it is important to start by inviting him and talking to him to understand all that he needs. In this scenario, it is evident that Smith’s employer can use a number of techniques to curb his evasion.

The first alternative should involve a salary increment, which will enable the incumbent manager to reconsider his decision of going back to school. Secondly, Smith can also think of other techniques such as on the job training to improve further his skills as opposed to his decision to pursue masters during part time (Jacobs, 2013). This decision is highly costly and can result in negative consequences to the Memorial Hospital laboratory. First, the hospital may fail to get a qualified, experienced, and self-driven manager who can effectively manage the entire laboratory as Smith during times when he would leave for class. Secondly, Smiths decision may result in unplanned absenteeism of the organizational employees alongside his absence, which may jeopardize the laboratory operations.

Jacobs (2013) adds that tthese combined negative events can have far reaching effects on the performance and service delivery of the laboratory which may even result in ultimate closure. As the threats of closure continue, Smith may receive several warning letters that may not only result in the loss of his job but also affect his family life. Job loss would transform into lack of payment and further result in poor living standards. As such, Smith should think wisely and apply for study vacations at the interval of his employment period to enable him attend his classes and even seat for examination. Provision of paid study leaves and vacations are a common practice in many organizations operating in the current world and can act as a good choice to cater for the fulfillment of Smiths educational needs.

Memorial Hospital’s Responsibility to Smith in this Scenario and how to help him out

Owing to the stipulation and guidelines provided in the employee-employer relationship, all employers have a moral responsibility to take good care of their employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Act is a fundamental example of such laws that have been globally developed to ensure the comfort of all employees and their employers (Creighton & Rozen, 2014).In this case, Memorial Hospital has a moral responsibility to care of Smith as their employee in a number of ways. First, the Hospital should start by listening to their incumbent laboratory manager and seeking for factual ways of helping him out to cater for his overwhelming needs.

Secondly, the hospital can start to provide on the job training to ensure that they improve the skills, knowledge and expertise professional stances of committed employees such as Smith. On the job training is one of the most current form of training that most of the organizations are using to improve the experience of their workers. Smith’s desire to pursue a master’s degree is emphasized with the need that he wants to use this degree as a stepping-stone to higher management positions. Realizing this goal in one of their most committed employees, the Memorial Hospital should respond accordingly by improving Smith’s pay.

According to Rothwell (2014), a salary increment in a worker’s pay-slip can have far-reaching positive effects. The reward offered in a particular workstation is always a determinant factor in the mobility of labor. As such, Smith can consider postponing his decision to further his studies in line with the hospital’s decision to not only improve his pay but also offer him on the job training that improves his skills and knowledge (Creighton, & Rozen, 2014). Increasing the manager’s salary can also help him to cater for other needs such as improving the standards of living of his family members and augment his studies.

Thirdly, the Memorial Hospital can honor Smith’s decision and back him up to ensure that he goes to school and accomplishes his master’s degree requirements. Here, the Hospital can appoint other substitute managers, train them, and equip them with the necessary knowledge required to take care of the laboratories when Smith is not around. Training other substitute managers will allow the organization to run smoothly without the negative effects that may accrue as a result of Smith leaving for his educational plans (Cunningham, 2016). However, the hospital should ensure that they support Smith’s education with different techniques to maintain him as their employee (Robertson, 2016).

In this case, Memorial Hospital can pay full or part of the incumbent manager’s school fees as a maintenance strategy and provide him with auxiliary services such as means of transport from school to work. This decision can also help in saving the time that the worker may waste on the road using public means to get from school to work and back to his home (Cunningham, 2016). Nevertheless, the Hospital should ensure that they provide Smith with adequate support through providing him with paid vacations and study leaves. These vacations alongside continuous study leaves will enable their incumbent laboratory manager to have a smooth run of events and ensure that he attends his classes without disturbances and sits for his exams without any form of interruption from work.

Another responsibility that the hospital may have in ensuring that Smith’s needs are well catered for may include continuous encouragement and motivation of the employee (Rothwell, 2014).Here, the hospital should carry out activities such as benchmarking alongside other company managers to understand how they usually balance their educational needs alongside their jobs. Additionally, the hospital should also improve Smith’s working conditions by holding several seminars and a variety of meetings to discuss the welfare of their workers (Robertson, 2016). It is through this seminars that workers needs such educational goals can be properly addressed.


It is the fundamental goal of both employees and their employers to maintain a mutual relationship while at their workplace. A number of acts and laws have been proposed both at national and international levels to adequately cater for the needs of each employee and employer at their workplace. This paper has explored Smith’s dilemma in details. Despite the responsibility of the Memorial Hospital on Smith’s needs, the incumbent laboratory manager has well elaborated steps that he must undertake to safeguard his job and fulfill his career goals. As such, it is important for the Hospital to consider Smiths needs and ensure that they support him in each step that he undertakes.




Creighton, W. B., & Rozen, P. C. (2014). Occupational health and safety law in Victoria. Sydney: Federation Press.

Cunningham, J. B. (2016). Strategic Human Resource Management in the Public Arena. Palgrave Macmillan.

Hancock, K., & Isaac, J. E. (2015). Labour market deregulation: Rewriting the rules ; essays in honour of Keith Hancock. Annandale NSW: Federation Press.

Jacobs, R. L. (2013). Structured on-the-job training: Unleashing employee expertise in the workplace. San Francisco, Calif: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Robertson, D. I. L. Y. S. (2016). Ontario Occupational Health And Safety Act: Quick Reference. Aurora: Thomson Reuters Canada.

Rothwell, W. J. (2014). Improving On-the-Job Training: How to Establish and Operate a Comprehensive OJT Program. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.