Staffing patterns in two food service areas of a hospital/training center for mentally retarded Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qb98mj62v

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  • This study conducted at Fairview Hospital and Training Center, Salem, Oregon was part of a larger study by the Mental Health Division, Department of Human Resources, State of Oregon. The purpose was to determine a course of action to be followed by the Food Service Department to compensate for decreasing numbers of resident (patient) workers available to assist with work in the serving areas. The purpose of the thesis study was to compare and analyze worker utilization and productivity in two cottage serving areas, Martin and Patterson, using random sampling observations. The cottages were alike in all respects except the composition of the staff. Resident workers as well as regular employees were scheduled in Martin, but only regular employees in Patterson. A preliminary study, by continuous observation, was conducted in each area for one complete work day to determine how workers spent their time and the tasks involved. All tasks were grouped into three work classifications, direct work, indirect work and delays, based on those used by Donaldson, University of Wisconsin. Results of how time was spent, 61 percent direct work, 6 percent indirect work and 33 percent delays, provided estimates from which to calculate the minimum number of random observations required for the next part of the study. Data for the work sampling study were collected by trained observers over a two-week period. Total observational readings in each cottage varied because of the different number of persons working in each area. Findings showed: 1. Regular employees and resident workers working together spent 54. 18 percent of their time for direct work, 5.76 percent for indirect work, and 46.29 percent for delays. 2. Regular employees working alone spent 65.26 percent of their time for direct work, 1. 99 percent for indirect work and 32.75 percent for delays. 3. The productivity rate, determined as the total of direct work and indirect work time, was 67 percent for regular employees working alone, 54 percent for employees and resident workers working together (80 percent for employees and 44 percent for resident workers). 4. Time spent in direct work was spread fairly evenly throughout the day when resident workers were present. When employees worked alone, direct work time had pronounced peaks around meal periods. 5. The average labor time per meal served for employees and resident workers combined was 1 0.46 minutes, for employees working alone, 4.60 minutes. 6, Findings did not support the three hypotheses tested: that the total percent of direct and indirect work combined will be the same with either staffing pattern; that direct work time will be greater without resident workers present, but there will be a corresponding difference in indirect work activities relating to resident workers; and that delay time will be the same for both staffing patterns. 7. Statistical analyses showed the following: Chi square test indicated a significant difference (0.01 level) in percent of time spent for direct work, indirect work, and delays between the two cottages; multiple correlation analysis showed significant correlation (0. 05 level) between age and experience of employees and indirect work time; regression analysis showed age and experience accounted for 65 percent of the variables influencing indirect work time. Based on the findings, the conclusion was that employees appeared to be more productive when resident workers were present than when employees worked alone. Employees probably worked at a slower speed to keep pace with the resident workers; thus activities took longer to complete. Recommendations from findings included: (1) staff in each cottage serving area be comprised of employees only; (2) resident workers should not be used as a source of labor, but those in the Food Service Training Program be given opportunity for experience in the serving areas; (3) two part-time employees, one from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and the second from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm, be considered as optimal replacement for resident workers in each serving area. Other recommendations, for long-range planning were: staggered meal hours in the cottages to allow one full-time employee to work between two cottages; integration of staff in cottages to form a "cottage staff" and reduce departmentalization; and alternative methods of food delivery to cottages.
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