A Tale of Two Frontline Health Workers

Visualization of “A Tale of Two Frontline Health Workers” by @joycming

AIDES

  • New York, USA
  • Long-term care or aging in place
  • Activities of daily living & clinical monitoring
  • Employed by agency/self, min. wage (Medicare/aid)

ASHAs

  • Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Mothers & newborns
  • Community-based care & liaising
  • “Honorary” employees of govt, paid per activity
  • IDENTITY: threatened or belittled, asked to do extra housework
  • LOCATION: devalued work in the home, increased surveillance b/c distribution
  • CLINICAL STATUS: knowledge ab. patient overlooked, not included in key decisions, have to gather info own own

Invisible Work

Both have to do extra work to navigate boundaries:

  • ASSIGNED/ASKED: patients make requests that are not part of their job scope; job requirements change a lot (e.g., COVID caused last min. changes)
  • SELF/OTHERS: handle interpersonal conflicts that arise, often turning to others’ authority; filling in for others, even unpaid, because of solidarity/camaraderie
  • WORK/LIFE: developing coping mechanisms to handle high stress job; having to bring work home (e.g., calls outside work hours)
  • SEEN/UNSEEN: supervisors surveil to ensure compliance, but do not respond quickly to feedback/issues; feeling background, like servants/housekeepers

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Joy M.

Joy M.

Wants to change the world using technology. Loves both exploring new places and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.