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Healthcare, Sociology, and Connection Between Them

Discussion Prompt 1

Working in the field of healthcare involves the necessity for close collaboration with people from different cultural backgrounds, and this is why there are numerous links between healthcare and sociology. In particular, these links are related to the concepts of role, culture, subculture, and role conflict. In sociology, a role is understood as a significant pattern of behavior. In particular, if some specialist occupies certain status, it means that his or her work is inextricably connected with a range of attributes and expected practices (Michalec & Hafferty, 2015). Each healthcare specialist occupies a role that is clearly defined and limited by certain expectations, and the attempts to quit it (for instance, start neglecting the code of conduct) are incompatible with proper practice in the field.

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When it comes to the concept of role conflict, this notion refers to the situation in which one person is expected to fulfill duties related to two different roles that sometimes contradict one another. Role conflicts in healthcare present a popular research topic. As is stated by many researchers, role conflicts often occur when healthcare specialists acquire new responsibilities and start working in different healthcare settings (Ashley, Brown, Halcomb, & Peters, 2018). Role conflicts also take place when healthcare specialists have to provide services to people they know in everyday life.

Involving a set of practices and beliefs that certain groups of people support, culture and subculture are closely related to the psychological environment of any healthcare organization. Organizational cultures usually present common rules and beliefs that define the unique role of a company, whereas subcultures refer to more specific values. Subcultures in healthcare can be attributed to the presence of multinational workforce or differences based on the roles of various professionals.

Discussion Prompt 2

In order to support social order and maintain the turnover of generations, every person is expected to acquire various social roles throughout his or her life. To begin with, the first social roles that people get relate to family ties, helping to regulate the relationships between different generations and develop family hierarchies. The process of growing up encourages individuals to acquire new roles, predetermining their future contribution to the society. Becoming a school student, a person has to comply with new rules and understand how to coexist peacefully with other children who also require a lot of attention. With every new social role, people develop new skills and expand the knowledge on different sides of their personalities, which is extremely important for self-understanding.

The concept of social roles is inextricably connected with other notions used in the field of sociology. For instance, role strain and role conflict are the terms that help to describe difficulties experienced by every person due to the presence of social roles (Michalec & Hafferty, 2015).

In reference to role strain, it occurs within the frame of one role. It is primarily used to define the situation in which a person has problems in meeting expectations related to a particular social role. Thus, it may refer to students who fail to use newly acquired knowledge, employees who have communication problems, or parents who do not know how to raise their children with good and appropriate values. As for role conflicts, they involve the necessity to meet contradictory requirements associated with different roles.

The process of acquiring new roles is inextricably connected with role exit. The latter involves the establishment of a new identity; for instance, when people lose their parents, they stop being sons or daughters. Status also has a major influence on social roles – for instance, roles that are given in a family refer to an ascribed status since people do not choose their parents, gender, and ethnicity. Social roles acquired by older people (university students or employees) are related to an achieved status of a person. The choice of a master status (for instance, a mother, a senior officer) heavily depends upon people’s values and social roles that they regard as the most important.

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Ashley, C., Brown, A., Halcomb, E., & Peters, K. (2018). Registered nurses transitioning from acute care to primary healthcare employment: A qualitative insight into nurses’ experiences. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(3-4), 661-668.

Michalec, B., & Hafferty, F. W. (2015). Role theory and the practice of interprofessional education: A critical appraisal and a call to sociologists. Social Theory & Health, 13(2), 180-201.

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