Nursing is considered to be the backbone of the healthcare industry. After rigorous training, these skilled care providers take on the role of a nurse and assist patients in their recovery. Their main duties include monitoring patients’ symptoms and stats, administering medication, managing all the paperwork, and providing emotional and physical support to the patients.
The pandemic has been cruel to the healthcare industry, especially to those belonging to this noble profession. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses launched a “Hear Us Out” campaign in order to show Covid-19’s bitter reality.
In their survey, almost two-thirds of nurses said that the overwhelming and exhausting shifts during the pandemic have made them consider quitting. 21% said they will leave within the coming six months.
An article on the website, HealthLeaders Media stated, “nurses’ burnout is among the leading patient safety and quality concerns.” This shows that patient’s recovery rate is directly linked to the satisfaction of the nursing staff. An exhausted, frustrated nurse will show negligence, and therefore, can risk patient care.
A nurse managers task is to ensure that their staff stays motivated and satisfied with their jobs. We have provided some of the ways you can boost your nurses’ morale and spirits below.
Provide Developmental Opportunities
Learning and development in any field is a lifelong process and does not stop once the training period ends. Technology and medical practices are constantly evolving, so it is very crucial to encourage nurses to polish or learn new skills from time to time.
You can Grow Your Career in Nursing with a BSN, which can help you improve and progress your medical practice and career, respectively. You can also organize training and workshops, or encourage them to take online courses so that they can keep their skillsets up to date and relevant.
Involve nurses in planning
Nurses are as important as any other professional in the healthcare industry. Their opinion is invaluable as they speak from their experience of providing direct care to the patient. Let them lead the meetings once in a while and hear their perspectives.
You can also let them organize conferences, workshops, and lectures so that they can exhibit leadership skills. This will give their confidence a boost and can be a great learning opportunity for young nurses who are on the cusp of their careers.
Clearly defined duties
If you wish to avoid your nurses overworking themselves, it is always best to define their duties as well as those of others. The job of a nurse is very crucial and demands on-the-spot decisions and actions. Sometimes the nurses are left with no choice but to perform other duties, of the doctors or the technicians, that lie beyond their job responsibilities, especially when someone’s life is at stake.
Even under normal conditions, nurses are taken for granted and expected to perform tasks that aren’t in their job descriptions. To avoid this, setting clear boundaries and duties for everyone can make everyone productive and accountable at work.
Provide emotional support
Nursing, as a profession, expect of its professionals to be emotionally connected and invested in their patients as compared to the others belonging to the same industry. Seeing patients dying or looking after terminally-ill patients can be emotionally draining.
On the other hand, facing abusive behavior from patients and their attendants, or even senior doctors, is not a rare occurrence for the nurses. Nursing can take a serious mental toll on anyone. And as we have already established that for the sake of the patients’ well-being, it is critical that nurses are taking care of themselves, emotionally and mentally.
Setting up support groups and services or launching employee assistance programs can help you facilitate that. You can even set up counseling sessions for your nurses. Or perhaps, set an open-door policy at work and let them know you are always there for them. You can also encourage collaboration and peer reliance in tough times.
Encourage health and well being
A person’s physical health has a great impact on their mental health. Often, it is not always the external factors, like tough shifts or overbearing responsibilities, that can put one’s health at risk.
If you are not eating right or resting enough, chances are you’d feel depressed and sad, too. It’s advisable that there be a gym at hospital premises that nurses can pop into for a quick workout that will leave them feeling energized and refreshed.
Regulate food in the cafeteria to ensure that it is high in nutrients, which will encourage employees to make healthier food choices.
There is a common belief in the healthcare industry that nursing is a thankless profession. Nurses have a lot of duties that keeps on their feet, working all day long. The scary part of the profession is how a single mistake committed can cause someone their life. Doctors show up at appointments and then leave just as they’re done checking up on patients, but nurses have to be there 24/7.
Offering them words of appreciation can make the nurses feel valued and recognized. You can even plan formal rewards program after a fixed amount of time to ensure hardworking individuals are appreciated and celebrated.
It is very important to take breaks during the shift hours. You can let the nurses plan their schedule of breaks, or you can do it for them to make sure each nurse on duty gets some time off and that the patients aren’t left unattended.
You can designate break rooms that are comfortable and equipped with a television, a well-stocked fridge, and comfortable sofas for your staff to unwind and relax.
Offer them to take days off from work, apart from their regular allowed leaves, when you feel they’ve earned it by carrying the workload for quite some time.
Plan fun events
You don’t have to go too fancy here. A little activity at work can be a major mood lifter. Having a little bake sale or a one-dish party in the break room can elevate the staff’s spirits. You can also encourage your staff to sparkle up the wards and nurses’ stations with Christmas and other holidays’ decorations.
You can even look up for workplace team building activities or fun-filled excursions outside to help the team bond in areas outside of work. These activities can increase collaboration amongst your staff members and can be a huge change from the normal hustle-bustle of the hospital.
It is very important to keep nurses motivated and engaged, especially in these tough times. This will result in higher productivity, error-free day-to-day tasks, and an overall happier work environment. By employing the above-mentioned ways, the turnover rate will reduce and you’ll notice stability at your workplace.