School of Nursing
Bees and Human and Social Capital Theory
According to the NPR audition “Nature's Secret: Why Honey Bees Are Better Politicians Than Humans” (2012), honeybees make their decisions collectively, following a bottom-up approach and voting as a way to add preferences. Honeybees’ collective action is similar to that presented in the Human and Social Capital Theory which refers to the collective group knowledge, abilities and experience from an organizational perspective (Marquis & Huston, 2012). Likewise presented in the theory, honeybees base their decisions on the best information available that is collected by the most experienced rather than by the most powerful members of the population. The efficiency and efficacy of this decision-making process among bees benefits each and everyone of them because they are able to democratically agree on a safe place to live; such experience and priority based process is in accordance to the Human Capital Theory which establishes that an organization will invest in goods that have a future payoff and benefit an entire organization (Marquis & Huston, 2012). As a consequence, the choice of a safe place to live that ensures the survival of the population and the way the bees make their decisions resonates with the theory.
Collective Approach in Georgetown Hospital
In my clinical rotation in Georgetown Hospital, I encountered a situation that could help illustrate the theory. There was a 6 months old patient who kept coming back to the hospital for sepsis related to reinfection of his central line catheter. The patient`s nurse was concerned because of his serious and repeated infections, the high cost of hospitalization due to a lack of insurance, and his poor social and family support. The nurse presented the issue to her supervisor, physicians and other staff. The unit organized a conference that as well as in the case of the Human and Social Capital Theory included the most experienced staff who could help with the patient’s situation. In this case a staff nurse took the lead because she knew the patient`s situation the most. It turned out that the patient`s family could not afford to visit the patients nor to buy simple cleaning supplies to keep the line germs free. They were also educational needs identified for the family. To benefit the patient, the hospital, and the family further meetings were held; these meetings included multidisciplinary staff from different departments and various