Want to Help Your Healthcare Facility and Improve Patient Care? Focus on Nurses.
Want to improve all aspects of patient care at your healthcare facility? Start by focusing on nurses. The nursing profession requires nurses to constantly focus on their patients, leaving little to no time or energy for nurses to meet their own needs while they are on the job. But when nurses aren’t properly supported, patients and healthcare organizations also struggle. The research is clear — a nurse’s well-being, or lack thereof, directly impacts patients and patients’ perception of the care they receive. Luckily, there are several strategies healthcare organizations can implement to support the wellbeing of their nurses, and therefore also benefit patients and improve patient care.
Create a positive, supportive work culture
Nursing can be a stressful and demanding career. And while there is not one singular or straightforward way to do so, it is critical for nursing leadership teams to create a supportive and respectful environment at work. A positive workplace culture fosters better collaboration between nurses and other clinicians, which helps prevent burnout among nurses. When nurses experience respect and successful collaboration with their coworkers, they have more mental bandwidth, time, and energy to focus on the quality of care they provide their patients, rather than the stress of an unsupportive workplace.
Give nurses practical opportunities for self-care
Nursing is all about prioritizing the health and wellbeing of others, which can interfere with nurses’ ability to take care of themselves, leading to burnout. From long shifts that can interfere with getting adequate sleep, to facing stressful circumstances with patients, nurses face many obstacles to self-care. Employers and leadership at healthcare organizations can create practical ways for nurses to access self-care such as providing a complimentary meditation subscription or gym membership as an employee benefit or working with HR to create fun fitness challenges among coworkers.
Prioritize staffing levels
One of the most noticeable effects of inadequate staff in healthcare is a decline in the quality of patient care. Demanding workloads as a result of poor staffing ratios are among the leading causes of nurse burnout in healthcare, plus inadequate staffing levels can also lead to medical errors and higher morbidity and mortality rates. Ensuring that your healthcare facility has enough nurses improves the health outcomes of both your nurses and your patients.
Encourage continuous learning and training
Investing in your nursing staff’s education benefits both nurses and their patients. Providing nurses with opportunities for mentorship and continuing education via certifications, lectures, and conferences ensures they stay current on the latest advancements in healthcare and maintain motivation and excitement about their career. Learning new skills allows nurses to move into different specialties, which can improve nursing retention. Plus, they’ll feel respected and valued knowing that their employer is investing in their personal and professional growth.
Recognize achievements and hard work
Most employees appreciate when their hard work is recognized — implement a system that recognizes nurses’ daily dedication to their job and to their patients. If you haven’t focused on this area before, start small by celebrating work anniversaries and birthdays. Move into establishing a “nurse of the month” program along with other ways to celebrate nursing successes. These initiatives create a supportive workplace that motivates nurses to give their best.
The wellbeing of nurses and the quality of care that their patients receive go hand-in-hand. Hiring dedicated and motivated nurses is key to providing excellent patient care — explore how Maxim Staffing can help you hire qualified nursing professionals.