"A brush with AIDS"

Essay by ValsinatUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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For the past hundred years, due to technological and scientific progress, health care industry went through enormous changes and became one of the most challenging businesses in our society. Every decade, our doctors and scientists stumbled over a new disease that threatened human kind. Acknowledging that some diseases, such as HIV, have fatal outcomes, the danger arose within the hospital environment. Health care workers became vulnerable to the risk of being infected performing medical procedures such as surgery or blood sampling. In 1987, the first case of a health care worker who contracted HIV through a needle prick was reported . As a result, sharps containers, a medical product designed to accept used needles and syringes, benefited enormously from the surge in demand.

Key facts

Year 1986. Straight out of college, 21-year-old Katherine went to work for Halsey, the leading health care company providing products and services to health care customers around the world, supplying some hospitals with up to 80% of their product needs.

Halsey offered rapid career advancement for its employees and Katherine was one of them. After a year and a half, she was promoted to market manager and transferred to company headquarters. The working environment was warm and friendly and after receiving another promotion to senior market manager, Katherine decided to stay in the industry as a career. Although her job responsibilities remained essentially the same, Katherine was responsible for the product line of sharps containers. Even though, the organization was very committed to the customers it served, Katherine's goals as a senior market manager were exclusively gross-profit-dollar-oriented. She was committed to making the profit plan that managers gave her each year, and her own chances for personal advancement depended on it. Following the 1987 surge in demand for sharps containers, a market...