Nurse Next Door is a company whose primary role is to deliver home-based care services – especially to seniors. Their services could range from providing some company to the seniors to offering full-time nursing care to the seniors when needed. At the moment, the franchise has more than 200 locations spread out across the United States, Australia, and Canada. It is difficult to talk about the current pandemic without mentioning the role played by nurses and other healthcare providers. However, the services of the company are not just limited to seniors. They also cover other services such as patients who are bedridden, or pregnant women on emergency bed rest.
Given that a larger population of their patients are seniors, it would make sense to use their casing point to explain the importance of Nurse Next Door, and the reason behind what the company does. It is always a tough time having to send parents to the nursing home where they will have to spend their last days. Seniors are taken away from their natural environments, and if some have some conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss, placing them in a new environment only adds confusion. It takes a long time for seniors to adjust to new environments and new lives. Suddenly seniors can only see their loved ones on schedule. Sometimes, it can be too taxing on the loved ones to keep visiting the nursing homes, especially on a strict schedule. However, this does not stop them from having feelings of abandonment and neglect. The company makes sure that it eliminates the need for patients to physically visit the healthcare facilities by providing healthcare professionals who are willing to provide home-based care for the patients instead.
Nurse Next Door is unique in many ways – and this starts from its unique and friendly name. It would be fair to say that Nurse Next Door has revolutionized nursing care as most people used to know it. People no longer need to be institutionalized and put their families on visiting schedules during their senior years. Nurse Next Door is unique in the fact that they offer nursing care to seniors where the seniors feel the most comfortable – at their homes. Some seniors would rather spend their days tending to their gardens or spending time with their loved ones doing nothing as compared to spending their last days on earth in a hospital bed or an institutional environment.
Nurse Next Door ensures that seniors still get to enjoy the best of both worlds in the sense that they still receive the nursing care they need while enjoying the location’s freedom. This level of flexibility is quite welcome, especially during the pandemic when hospitals were crowded with COVID-19 patients. Seniors are classified as vulnerable individuals in society among other groups such as children, and expectant women. Additionally, research proved that seniors were at a higher risk of dying from complications related to COVID-19. Therefore, it was a wise move to protect themselves by keeping off environments that are considered to be high-risk transmissions such as hospitals and other crowded places.
COVID-19 patients were also prioritized over most of the other healthcare services at least for a bigger part of the year 2020. Therefore, seniors who did not have the flexibility of receiving nursing care from home had a hard time. This paints a clear picture of how Nurse Next Door comes in, and why their services are useful and vital, especially during times like these. It also proves exactly what makes them unique from other healthcare providers, especially in the aspect of flexibility.
Both primary and secondary research was conducted, and it entailed talking to people who work with Nurse Next Door and doing some research about the company. The main focus was factored around some aspects such as the strategic plan of the organization, the strategic plan of the unit, and the job descriptions. Other influences factored in include some realistic and out-of-the-book experiences of working with the company. The mission statement, the vision statement, and the objectives of the company were analyzed at this point. Additionally, the participation of the management across all levels of the organization was included in the analysis.
I noticed that the business model of Nurse Next Door is more hands-on as opposed to staying behind closed doors. The employees are more proactive in their role, and part of this comes with accountability. For example, when they visit, there is a high chance that there will be someone around besides the patient, and this ensures that the nurse or healthcare giver remains alert and proactive throughout their session (Aguinis, 2019). The mission and vision statements are in alignment, and this is usually an indication of a company with clear goals.
Conclusively, the overall company culture seems to be conducive and accommodating. However, some of the factors worth mentioning include the security of the employees. Some patients could be living in neighborhoods that are generally unsafe, and this could put the lives of the Nurse Next Door employees in danger (Aguinis, 2019). I am curious to know what systems the company has put in place to address such situations. Some factors such as the insurance coverage for employee safety, and the overall performance management systems still need more clarification but at this point, the company is headed in the right direction.
With regards to the recommendations to the franchise owner for how to manage the virtual team, it would be great to first acknowledge that there are many challenges presented by a virtual team. However, it is not hopelessly impossible to successfully manage a virtual team. One of the recommendations would be creating an automatic feedback system where one is expected to not only rate the Nurse Next Door employee out of 5 stars or a rating out of 10, but the employees should also be able to rate their patients. This creates some balance while the company benefits from getting immediate feedback. It creates a paper trail and a history that makes it easier to computer and analyzes other performance metrics.
Through setting expectations, the roles and responsibilities should be clearly outlined in the job descriptions to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunications. I would also recommend that the company has a clear conflict resolution and management system in place that is reliable and fair to both sides. Nursing Next Door has proved itself as the next version of homecare and it is exciting to watch this grow into something more long-term in the sense that more Nursing Next Door locations will be opened across both Europe and America as an indication of a ready market for the services provided by the company.
Aguinis, H. (2019). Performance Management (4th ed.). Chicago Business Press.