Healthcare workers are trained and experienced in dealing with medical crises. However, a pandemic like the current COVID-19 virus, has placed healthcare workers in a much more dangerous environment. These medical personnel know the safety precautions they need to take to protect themselves, but the sheer numbers of patients and lack of equipment has impacted their ability to follow the safety guidelines. This has impacted healthcare workers with stress and has caused some to feel underappreciated for the work they are doing.
The high volume of infected patients and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has placed healthcare workers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Adding to the stress caused by this concern is the long hours they are working, lack of sleep, and worry about their family and friends. Hospital administrators are struggling with the ever-changing recommendations from public health experts and political leaders and providing their staff with the tools and support they need.
Surveys show that over 90% of healthcare workers have reported feeling stressed over the past year, with 40% saying they do not feel they had enough emotional support. More than 75% reported feeling burned out. Over 3,000 healthcare workers died since the pandemic began.
The pandemic outlook is beginning to look more positive, with vaccinations becoming more available, infection rates reducing, treatment protocols becoming more successful, and equipment becoming more readily available. This means healthcare workers and their administrators can finally start focusing on themselves and their own mental health recovery from this traumatic event.
Administrators must act now to recognize the extraordinary actions their healthcare staff have taken over the past year. This includes more than just the doctors and nurses, they must also recognize their supply chain employees, pharmacists, janitorial staff, volunteers, and all others who have kept their facilities operating throughout this crisis. The key for administrators is recognizing everyone without alienating anyone and ensuring that the recognition is meaningful for their staff.
Recognition for staff can be difficult when you are talking about large numbers, some people like public recognition, others don’t. Some people might like a gift card, others just want a pat on the back. Administrators should encourage supervisors to get to know their staff and discover what motivates them. This allows administrators to focus on facility wide type recognition, such as videos to the public highlighting the different departments and their contributions. Administrators can then empower the supervisors to provide personal recognition to each of their staff.
Public videos are something that impacts large amounts of staff at a healthcare facility, without placing individuals in the spotlight if they would prefer not to be. Some get that feeling of pride and appreciation, without the discomfort of attention they don’t want. Others crave the spotlight and will appreciate the opportunity to bask and may even volunteer to be the ones on screen. Cap that off with some more individually directed recognition from their direct supervisors who know what motivates each team member and you have accomplished a well-rounded recognition program.
Genesis Medical Management is committed to providing you with the knowledge and strategies needed to ensure your organization is thriving and moving forward with engaged personnel even during these difficult times. Focus on your staff and look to the future.
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