Healthcare workers spend much of their time helping others. Unfortunately, they don’t get a lot of help and support in return for their challenging work conditions.
The CDC reveals that more than 20 million U.S. health workers are at risk for mental health problems, due to their long work hours, irregular shifts, as well as their intense physical and emotional labor. As a result, numerous physicians are experiencing work burnout, while 22% of healthcare workers are diagnosed with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. This is a huge red flag for healthcare organizations that want to deliver the best care to society. And if you want to be a healthcare organization that provides quality care for all patients, it’s imperative to start by taking care of the mental wellness of your healthcare workers. Here are a few tips on how you can accomplish this:
Engage leaders in providing employee support and protection
It’s not easy to handle patients with critical diseases or emergency cases, which is why healthcare professionals need all the support they can get at work. Team and department leaders are one of the best sources of encouragement in the workplace, given that they understand the experiences and tasks of each worker.
As such, our article on ‘How to Become a Mindful Manager and Leader’ recommends that managers should open their doors and actively connect with their co-workers. Instead of merely updating each other about tasks and patient cases, leaders must be encouraged to check up on their team so that they can address the work concerns — and even relevant personal issues — of each employee.
Provide flexible work options for healthcare workers
Leaders can support healthcare workers by discussing one of the most common pain points in the industry: the long work hours. Though this has become a standard practice, it’s worth exploring flexible setups that can boost the workers’ work-life balance.
Flexible working options can be offered through telehealth solutions, which allow healthcare workers and patients to connect virtually. There’s a high demand for telehealth in states with huge doctor shortages, which is why there are numerous remote opportunities for physicians in Delaware and Iowa. Telehealth allows healthcare workers to provide primary or even urgent care treatments while working in their preferred location and on their preferred schedule. As a healthcare organization, you may want to consider providing your healthcare staff with the requisite training needed to manage these virtual platforms and offer an excellent web-side manner.
Offer mental wellness programs
Healthcare employees are used to taking care of other people, which is why they may need a nudge when it comes to self-care.
Now that burnout is becoming a big concern among employees and organizations, there are corporate wellness programs being launched in New York to boost the mental health of employees. Both in-office and remote employees can benefit from this by simply tuning into virtual classes on resilience training, laughter yoga, and emotional intelligence. By making these classes available to healthcare workers, they can unwind after a long shift and make time for fun emotional boosters.
Reduce heavy workloads by streamlining processes
Healthcare workers handle heavy cases and mountains of paperwork, even when they’re working on a flexible schedule.
Unfortunately, professor Audrey Snyder from the University of North Carolina Greensboro found that rural hospitals tend to have a limited nurse workforce, so the responsibilities multiply even if they just lose one employee. Now that absenteeism and clinician fatigue are at an all-time high, hospitals can reduce workloads by leveraging digital solutions for healthcare. AI solutions can handle health data management and safety, while big data predictive analysis can estimate admission rates for proper staff allocation. Through these technologies, hospital staff can easily focus on more important tasks at hand.
It’s never too late to support the mental wellbeing of healthcare professionals. As they make sacrifices for people in need, it’s crucial that they also get lots of care and empathy in return.
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