Case Study in supervision in EMS about Time Management

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EHS 350
Case Study – Time Management
Your position: Shift Operations Manager, working out of an office at headquarters
Setting: A commercial ambulance company that does contract emergency and nonemergency transports to and from health care facilities.
Background: Acme Ambulance Service (“Transport You Can Trust!”) provides
emergency and non-emergency transport from nursing homes, healthcare providers
offices, and hospitals in the local area. AAS responds from a headquarters facility
located in an industrial park as well as a satellite station across town at a large
retirement complex that provides varying levels of skilled nursing care. Units are
staffed at three levels: BLS, ALS, CCT. All patients are third-party billed for service.
Complication: The billing office sends you an email listing 14 patient transports for
which they do not have patient billing information. You call these transports up in
the company database and note that no paperwork has been submitted for any of
the transports, and the oldest is eight days old. Company policy requires that
transport reports be entered into the company database by the senior crewmember
as soon as possible after the transport, but no later than the end of the shift. More
disturbing is the fact that all the missing reports are by the same paramedic, Jodi.
Situation: Jodi is assigned to your shift so it is your responsibility to address this
situation. She is current assigned to the ALS/CCT unit stationed at the satellite
facility.
Jodi is well known to you and management. She has a well-deserved reputation of
always being late with everything she does. People refer to “regular time” and then
there is “Jodi time.” She is a very nice, a competent paramedic, and the type of
person who would do anything in the world for you. She has been a “mother hen”
for a number of new personnel. She also presents as very disheveled and she carries
an assortment of bags with her containing various projects or activities she is
working on. When she is on duty, she usually takes over the kitchen table in the
station by spreading out all her “stuff.”
Because it is important that the issue of the 14 reports be resolved as soon as
possible, you sign-out a company car and drive over to the satellite facility. While
enroute, dispatch sends you a page that the ALS/CCT unit is out, but should return
in about 15 minutes after you arrive. You walk into the station day room and
immediately confirm that Jodi is on duty as stuff is spread out everywhere. In about
12 minutes the unit returns. You greet the crew and ask Jodi to meet you in the
small office on the second floor. Jodi acknowledges the request and says she will be
right up after she puts the paperwork in a secure holding box. After going upstairs,
you wait for Jodi. It should only take her a few minutes to complete the task. Ten
minutes later she has still not shown up. You walk back downstairs and find her
looking over the shoulder of the unit EMT as he works on his laptop. You say: “Jodi I
was waiting for you to come upstairs.” She responds: “I was coming, but Brett
needed help filling out his EMT recertification request so I was giving him a hand.”
She walks with you upstairs to the office and sits across from the desk while you
take a seat behind the desk.
Describe what you would say to Jodi about the 14 reports and how you would
address her habitual tardiness.
Questions
1. Do you as a first line supervisor have a responsibility to help Jodi with her
tardiness problem or should this just be referred to Human Resources?
2. What is most effective with Jodi, taking disciplinary action over her failure to
submit the reports, or handle this case as a problem employee who needs
assistance?
3. Depending on your response to Q2, how would you proceed to resolve this
situation? Be as specific as possible.
Case Study # 2 – Response/Actions/Solutions
As I rest my sandwich down on my plate contemplating on the upset and rather insulting
words from Chuck, I see multiple set of eyes starring at me for a response. Part of me is irritated
by Chuck’s words and almost surprised that a veteran of the department would show that type of
disrespect to an officer in front of the rest of the crew. However, I cannot let that irritation and
surprise overcome me and show it self to the crew. I don’t immediately disagree with Chuck’s
statements but the fact that he states the EMS lieutenants are **** useless, that is an issue that
needs some correction. A quick thought passes through my mind, what if Chuck makes a valid
point? What if he has some good ideas and solutions? Maybe this potential confrontation could
be turned round into a learning opportunity for me, Chuck, and the department.
I rest my elbows on the table, look at Chuck, and say Chuck you are theoretically this
battalion’s EMS lieutenant, tell me why you are needed or why not, give me any ideas you may
have on how to help with the layoffs the department is facing. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or put
the situation in his hands to see if he thinks he can do a better job. I want to see what ideas he
has and maybe learn something from him. He’s been in the department for eighteen years, I’m
sure he should at-least have one constructive idea.
I do not want to show weakness as a leader by agreeing with all that he says nor do I
want to be that over-bearing type of officer who just “throws fuel on the fire” and continue to give
Chuck reasons to strongly dislike the lieutenants. My physical reaction will be that of sincerity but
still maintaining a level of authority and seriousness. He may not respect me for my age and
therefore being his supervisor but he still needs to respect the position, regardless of whom
serves in it.
A solution to the situation should not just be a verbal explanation of all that the EMS
lieutenants do. Beings I am an officer that upholds my responsibilities and therefore takes great
care and interest in my personnel and their concerns I’m am more than willing to offer the
following. To help maybe easy Chuck’s frustration and let him see more of what I have to do as
Lieutenant in both the administration and operational levels, I want to offer Chuck to work with me
on the next shift. I will fill his spot with another Paramedic to staff Ambulance-3 and will ensure
that his payroll will reflect payment for his twelve hours of working with me on A Shift.
This will allow Chuck to come see how much work is involved regarding staffing,
communications, management, business meetings, accident and employee complications, and
not just Lieutenants showing up to the scene when they want to “squirrel” a good call. I am not an
officer that just enjoys to penalize employees and cause troubles for them, I have a grace rule at
times when something isn’t done correctly as long as it does not endanger a patient or another
co-worker.
When I see something that is not right, I have a brief constructive conversation with the
person and fix the situation. If a driver does not have his or her seat belt on and all I do is “write it
up,” that only teaches the employee to put on his seat belt when an officer is in their presence.
Taking just a few minutes to correct the situation in a one-on-one conversation shows that I
actually care about my employees and their safety and in doing so making a stronger effort to
make the point for employees to adhere to the department’s vehicle safety regulations.
Hopefully through this effort, Chuck will appreciate the fact of what is required of
lieutenants and what responsibilities exist. In addition maybe I can learn some better leadership
ideas from actually working with him for a day and listening to any positive ideas that he may
have.
EHS 350 Case Study Grading Form
Name: ______________________________________________________
CS# _____________
_____ Properly identifies problem or issue presented in case study [1-3 pts]
3 – Properly identifies and summarizes problem presented in case study.
2 – Identifies broad problem, but misses some aspects of problem.
1 – Identifies main issue or only part of problem.
0 – Does not correctly identify problem.
_____ Properly responds to situation presented in case study [1-8 pts]
8 – Provides a response that shows a deep understanding of the situation
including all the various issues and nuances of the situation. Responds
appropriately.
6 – Responds appropriately with some understanding of the various issues
presented in the situation.
4 – Responds appropriately to the main issue of the situation.
2 – Responds superficially to problem; misunderstands aspects of problem;
response shows lack of real understanding of the situation.
1 – Responds inappropriately or misunderstands situation.
0 – Does not respond to situation.
_____ Answers questions associated with case study [1-4 pts]
4 – Answers all questions with sufficient depth and breath to show good
understanding of question.
3 – Answers questions correctly but lacks sufficient depth and breath.
2 – Answers questions superficially.
1 – Answers questions but answer is inappropriate or shows
misunderstanding of what is being asked for.
0 – Does not answer questions or answer is grossly incorrect or
inappropriate.
_____ TOTAL POINTS [15]

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