Organizational climate analysis in a healthcare structure for palliative care: a project work dedicated to administrative staff

Distant view of mount Fujiyama Japan and Wistaria – Marianne North
Distant view of mount Fujiyama Japan and Wistaria – Marianne North

The project work “Organizational administrative climate analysis in a healthcare structure dedicated to palliative care. Hypothesis of comparison between quantitative and qualitative data emerged from narrative” was developed by Nadia Tosi during the third edition of the Master in Applied Narrative Medicine of ISTUD Foundation.

This project aimed to realize a climate analysis in a structure for palliative care, involving – for the first time – the administrative staff: office workers were listened about their point of view and their everyday life in the professional context of palliative care.

In particular, thirteen office workers accepted to be involved in a double activity considering two different tools: a questionnaire of working climate analysis for quantitative data, and a supplementary track for writing narratives.

This project work had several positive results. First, the positive answer of the administrative staff: they embraced the proposal to take a challenge and to give a contribution to a survey that can be a precious cause for reflection and improving of the internal organization of the structure. Another positive aspect are the results of the climate analysis questionnaire: positive indicators underlined a high level of organizational well-being.

Office workers’ narratives were a surprise: they described emotions revealing the great sensibility and the strong sense of belonging felt by working in a structure that works on a delicate and emotionally strong healthcare service. Despite the bureaucratic work, suffering perceived by patients, and the great sensibility of operators, penetrate walls and arrive until the administrative staff, who lives and shares emotions around patients and professionals: the willingness to help, the fear of suffering and the gratitude. These stories often start from the casual encounter with this kind of care; some of them declare that before this professional experience they did not know at all the existence of palliative care. Now they choose to stay, to proudly belong to a group that everyday contribute to make the care service a real relief from physical and moral suffering.

“Deep down, even office workers have hearts”, we would say. Certainly, they are integral part in this care service, and this work that finally wanted to involve them, shows how narrative makes possible to tear down the wall between professionals. We hope that this project work could be an incentive and an example for other initiatives of involving administrative staff that, as we have just seen, can surprise.

Paola Chesi

Degree in Natural Science at University of Turin, Italy. Project Manager and trainer at ISTUD – Health Care Area since 2010. Expert in health care organizational research and in the approach with Narrative Medicine, applied to national and international projects to analyse the organization and quality of pathways of care. Coordinator of training programmes ECM accredited (Continuous Medical Education system) addressed to health care professionals, as trainer and tutor. Coordinator of European projects, Lifelong Learning Programme funded, with a specific focus on storytelling. Collaboration with the Italian Society of Narrative Medicine and with international universities. Participation as speaker at several congresses promoted by scientific societies and Health Authorities.

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