Abraham Maslow's Theory Of Motivation And Satisfaction In Nursing

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Introduction Nurses comprise the largest professional group within hospitals. Job burnout, lack of motivation, and dissatisfaction among nurses often contribute to costly labor disputes and turnover and increased risk to patients. Nursing research surveys found much higher job dissatisfaction and burnout among nurses who are engaged in direct patient care in hospitals and nursing homes when compared to those involved in other jobs or settings. Patients’ satisfaction levels tend to be lower in hospitals with more nurses who are dissatisfied or burnt out, a notable finding that signals serious concerns regarding the quality of nursing care. Consequently, improving nurses’ job satisfaction may improve patients’ satisfaction as well as the delivery…show more content…
In the assigned case study, the nurse director is confronted with a situation where Susan, once a highly motivated and productive member of the nursing staff, has regressed to a frustrated argumentative complainer with lackluster productivity. In order to explain Susan’s unexpected change in behavior, a thorough theory based analysis of her behavior and complaints must be conducted. Abraham Maslow's theory on the hierarchy of needs states that individuals are motivated by five hierarchical needs. They must satisfy each need in a step-wise fashion as meeting one need propels the individual to seek the next higher need. Maslow’s first four needs, called deficiency needs (D-needs), comprise physiologic needs, the needs for safety and security, the need for love and belonging, and self-esteem. The top need in Maslow’s hierarchy, also called “being need” (B-need), is the intrinsic need for self-actualization. Looking at Susan’s behavior through the lens of Maslow’s theory, it becomes obvious that she has a major problem with at least the third…show more content…
Alderfer's ERG theory posits the existence of three basic needs an individual seeks to fulfill. As each need is satisfied, it serves as motivation to satisfy a different need. ERG stands for existence, relatedness and growth. Alderfer's ERG theory contends that several needs can be engaged and satisfied simultaneously rather than hierarchically. Using the ERG theory to analyze Susan’s case, one can easily see that the three levels of needs are involved at the same time. Susan has been complaining that she is not paid enough to do the job assigned. This invokes her needs at the existence level. Despite the 5% increase in her pay putting her among the highest paid nurses in the region, she perceives her income to be inadequate when taking into consideration the significant increase in her workload and the current work conditions. As to relatedness level, she is having a hard time dealing with the treating physicians and other nurses. Her relationship with the treating team is strained and characterized by non-productive arguments to the degree that no one wants to hear her opinion or listen to what she has to offer. This leads to the inability to be an effective contributor which adversely affects Alderfer’s growth level. According to ERG theory, managers must recognize their subordinates’ multiple simultaneous needs. Focusing exclusively on one need at a time, such as giving a 5% increase in salary in this case, may fail to be an effective

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