Preventing Bacteria from Creating Resistance to Drugs In 1943, the antibiotic era began when penicillin, a member of the [beta]-lacam family of drugs, was developed. Since then, tens of thousands of derivatives of penicillin have been developed, but only seventeen antibiotics of this family are currently marketed in the United States. Penicillin and its derivatives work by preventing certain bacteria from building strong cell walls that keep their shape and integrity. Without well-integrated cell walls, "bacterial trying to grow in the presence of penicillin puff up and die."1 Almost all bacterial diseases have evolved some level of resistance. The "increased use of antimicrobial drugs encourages the spread of resistance and increases the prevalence of drug-resistant strains."2 In fact, most virulent strains, like many sexually transmitted diseases, require at least double the dosage that was used a decade ago. Vancomycin, commonly referred to as the "last resort drug," is being used by hospitals in ever-increasing amounts. Bacterial resistance is the result of evolutionary responses. One cause of resistance is through mutation. In some instances, proteins used to build the cell are altered to bind penicillin poorly or not at all. A second type of resistance occurs when the bacteria preemptively breaks down penicillin into harmless by-products before they have the chance to bind with the cell wall. A greater cause for concern is the fact that "bacteria may reproduce with different bacterial species passing on resistance" to bacteria that did not previously possess the ability to resist any drugs.3 Humans are the predominant cause for drug resistance. The following are some examples of how human intervention has res... ...3. Palumbi. Pg. 81. 4. "Meanwhile, Back at the Farm" in Infectious Disease Alert. Nov. 1, 2001. vol. 21 i. 3 Pg. 17. 5. Palumbi. Pg. 89. 6. Palumbi. Reproduced from Table 4.1 on Pg. 75. 7. Skolnic, Andrew. "New Insight Into How Bacteria Develop Antibiotic Resistance" in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Jan. 2, 1991. vol. 265 n. 1. Pg. 14. 8. For further reading consult: Skurkovich, Simon. "Facing the Coming Plague" in World and I. June 1998. vol. 13 n. 6. Pg. 150. FURTHER READING & USEFUL LINKS 1. This presentation was intended to be associated with the following article: Eckert, Eric. "Diseased Soieties" in World and I. Oct. 1998. vol. 13 n. 10. Pg. 166. 2. Lappe, Marc. Breakout: The Evolving Threat of Drug-Resistant Disease. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1995. 3. "How Bacteria Build Resistance to Antibiotics" presented by USA Today
The Characteristics of Effective Groups Essay
According to Johnson Johnson (2009), groups are defined as two or more people joined together for a common purpose to achieve a goal and influence each other. There are many different types of groups and groups exist for many reasons. Groups are interdependent â€œin the sense that an event which affects one member is likely to affect allâ€ (Johnson Johnson, 2009, Chap. 1, pg. 6). Most groups are structured by a set of roles and norms. These roles define what part members of the group will play along with acceptable behavior of each role.
Norms are a set of rules that are established through common beliefs and shared values that control the behavior of the group by defining what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior based on the situation (Johnson Johnson, 2009). This paper will provide an overview of an effective group through my personal experiences, explain roles members have played, and explain how group participation is expressed through verbal and nonverbal communication and leadership.
Lastly, this paper will discuss how each of these things have contributed to the groupâ€™s effectiveness. Effective Groups Effective groups work together to achieve individual goals and team goals, and foster two-way communication between the leader and team members. The team only succeeds when everyone succeeds and resolve conflict in a constructive manner (Johnson Johnson, 2009). Working together in this setting promotes teamwork and a happy work environment.
It also encourages people to be individuals and fosters innovation. Johnson Johnson (2009) have stated in order for an effective group to succeed â€œthe group must achieve itsâ€™ goals, maintain good working relationships among members, and adapt to changing conditions in the surrounding organizationâ€ to include internal and external influences (Chap. 1, pg. 24). Roles The roles each member plays in the call center are defined by the job description that states functions a member is to carry out based on their role.
The groups are structured in a hierarchy of a call center director who would serve as the group chair, a team of supervisors who would be considered committee chairs to help facilitate the effectiveness of the group, that have 20 direct reports or members. Once the group is organized the leader must establish clear and achievable goals. The goals must be able to satisfy individual needs in order to gain commitment from each member, but the group must also see that these goals cannot be achieved without other members of the group.
If the goals are set and they are not attainable then members will feel discouraged and unmotivated to achieve the goals. These goals provide a guideline for the group to work by. Communication Once the goals are established they must be communicated to the group. Communication is a vital part of the group being able to achieve these goals as members must be able to exchange information to reduce misunderstandings and clarify work that needs to be done.
Effective communication occurs when the â€œsenderâ€™s message is interpreted the way the sender intended itâ€ resulting in work being accomplished more accurately and efficiently (Johnson Johnson, 2009, Chap. 4, pg. 133). Two-way communication involves both the sender and receiver engaging in open dialogue and being able to share ideas and feelings, rather than the sender communicating the message to the receiver and limiting the receiver sharing responses.
Although two-way communication is more time-consuming this is the method that is used with the effective group at my job to encourage group participation, limit frustration, encourage innovation, and increased productivity. Communication is also delivered through different channels verbally and nonverbally that the receiver will have to interpret. Some of the channels that are used are presentations that can be verbally and nonverbal, face-to- face communication, email, group meetings, questionnaires, surveys, reports, conferences, and more.
The receiver will pay attention to pictures, words (spoken and unspoken), body language, facial expressions, seating arrangements to show authority, size of the room, invitees, lighting, props used to facilitate the message, and more. Communication should be clear, informative, and delivered using methods assessable to everyone. Employees should have an opportunity to ask questions and managers should also follow-up with employees to ensure they are on the right track.
Leadership and Participation In order to establish an effective group, leadership and participation must be distributed amongst all group members to ensure commitment on everyoneâ€™s part and to take advantage of all the resources within the group (Johnson Johnson 2009). Two leadership approaches that Iâ€™ve continued to use is the â€œTry this and What do you think? â€ These have been both very effective working in a call center, especially one that is new.
Within our call center employees are always learning new ways of doing things and improving upon processes, but we simply canâ€™t do it without feedback. Feedback is an important resource that we rely on as managers to tell us what our employees like and dislike and it aids our employees in their development to reinforce positive and negative behavior. As a manager I wear many hats, one of them being a coach. Coaching helps employees identify strengths and weaknesses, and offers guidance without telling the employee what to do.
This has been effective because it facilitates conversation between the employee and leader and allows two-way conversation versus it being one-sided. When one effectively coaches and offers suggestions, employees know you care and have an interest in what they are doing and often times will exceed performance expectations because of successful coaching. Once the employees meets/exceeds the manager can continue to give them task that will stretch them and challenge them to aid in their continued growth and development.
When coaching employees it will be important to set SMART Goals and ensure that tasks are assigned appropriately according to the employees skillset otherwise, this may hinder development and frustrate the employee. Using the â€œWhat do you think? â€ approach is considered participative leadership. All decisions made within an organization should not be the sole responsibility of leaders. Depending on the type of decision being made should determine who is involved in the decision making process.
By consulting the group the manager is more apt to get buy-in when implementing change and it shows the group that you value their opinion. Although this can be a time consuming approach according to Yukl (2006), when employees feel like they are part of the process they are more likely to accept decisions and performance and morale increases, along with commitment of employees. Leaders will have to be careful that employees have time to participate and arenâ€™t overloaded with work, subordinates share the leaderâ€™s goals and tasks, ensure criteria for determining decision is fair so the ajority will be likely to accept the decision, and oneâ€™s personal views donâ€™t impact the decision.
Iâ€™ve used this approach of decision making when trying to find out what type of rewards employees would like so they would work harder to achieve the goal versus me going out and buying things that they will not benefit from resulting in them not being motivated to achieve the goal. This approach can be effective when used for the right reasons and not the leader wanting to avoid the decision making process. Match Decision-Making with the needs of the Situation
From time to time leaders will have to make decision that can not be derived out of group consensus. According to Yukl (2006) Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard proposed the situational leadership theory that states the approach a leader takes will be based on the situation, subordinate maturity, and level of influence one needs to complete the task. Effective situational leadership â€œacts as one function between the leader style, maturity of follower, and situation and each must be appropriate for one anotherâ€ (1000 Ventures, 2009).
The style of the leader is not consistent with each person because oneâ€™s behavior, level of understanding, and commitment to the task may change depending on the situation therefore, the leader must be prepared to use a variety of leadership styles. The key to effective situational leadership is to effectively understand the situation, provide employees with the appropriate tools to learn and aid in development through coaching and feedback, along with keeping individuals motivated.
It is never appropriate to assume that all individuals are on the same level because people have different life experiences and needs therefore, proper questioning and observation should be used to be effective at situational leadership. Leaders have to be careful that their leadership style is appropriate for the situation and if not this could be perceived negatively in which the leader will have to make an adjustment. I have used situational leadership as a manager and have found that it is important when the situation affects the group to get the groups buy-in by presenting the problem, getting suggestions, and then making a decision.
Resolving Conflict in Constructive Ways No group is perfect and disagreements are bound to happen from misunderstandings, lack of communication or clear goals, personal opinions however, with effective groups disagreements are beneficial, but must be resolved in a constructive manner. According to Johnson Johnson (2009), disagreements promote â€œcreative decision making and problem solving, promote involvement in the groups work, and commitment to implementing group decisionsâ€ (Chap. , pg. 27).
Group challenges also ensure that the minority is heard rather than always going with the majority and everyone has a voice. If disagreements are not handled timely and addressed they can destroy the group. Members of effective groups resolve their conflict through compromise, negotiation, analyzing problems by using supporting data, and ensuring the process is fair and everyone is heard to come up with the best solution for the group and leave all members satisfied.
If the group is unable to reach a decision then they may enter into a process called mediation whereby an appointed member may determine the best course of action and the group will trust the decision made by the appointed member and move on (Johnson Johnson, 2009). Conclusion All groups are set up based on a structure that includes roles and norms to provide a basic framework for members to function. In order for the group to be effective members must understand what roles they play in order to avoid role conflict and acknowledge the norms exist and they must follow them or accept consequences for not following them.
Effective groups use their ability to influence and increase the knowledge and skill of each other and react to issues in a positive manner to resolve conflict to allow the group to run more smoothly. In order for these issues to be well managed the group has to understand the organizationâ€™s strategy and business objectives and continually look to the future needs of the organization, consumer, employee, environment, and economy due to continual changes to ensure the organization and group is able to keep up.
By each member maintaining itsâ€™ commitment to the group, having clear goals and understanding of how they fit in, maintaining clear and open lines of communication, proper balance of leadership and participation to ensure balance of workloads and direction, along with proper channels to resolve conflict will continue to contribute to the groupâ€™s effectiveness and enable long lasting effective groups.
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