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Is Your Medical Staff Suffering from Burnout?

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According to a recent study, the national turnover rate among hospital healthcare workers is 16.5 percent. It can take between 36 and 97 days to replace an experienced RN, and the average turnover-related cost for a bedside nurse is between $44,380 and $63,400.

While many factors contribute to health care turnover – and the statistics apply to all workers, not just nurses – one of the leading culprits is burnout. In another survey, more than 60 percent of healthcare pros reported being burned out in their jobs. Reasons include understaffing, heavy workloads and insurance red tape.

How to Keep Your Staff Engaged

While stress is directly related to burnout, the two conditions differ in that stress tends to be short-term and related to a specific case, task or situation. It contributes to burnout, however, if it goes unchecked for long periods of time.

Burnout can lead to disengagement, exhaustion, insomnia, poor eating and health habits and ultimately, people leaving their jobs. Moreover, it has been directly linked to a higher risk of infections and poor patient outcomes.

Avoid burnout and keep your staff engaged by:

Fostering a less stressful work environment.

This can be as simple as encouraging comradery and social interaction. The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University helps staff unwind with classes in dance, pottery and journal writing. Other facilities offer on-site knitting groups and yoga and meditation programs, so employees can stay calm and collected on even the most frantically busy days. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania opened a Center for Nursing Renewal, with massage chairs, televisions and other features to help refresh and renew harried staff.

It doesn’t have to be expensive.

If your budget won’t allow for renovations or major expenses, look to local community resources and volunteers who may want to give back to your facility. They may be able to provide free or low-cost classes or guidance. If you have a room that is currently underutilized, it doesn’t require a lot of money to turn it into a worker-friendly area where people can stop and take a breather – just a bit of creativity.

Recognize and reward.

Employees who feel appreciated exhibit significantly less stress and burnout. Offer appropriate rewards for jobs well done and if possible, recognize employees in front of their peers and supervisors. A heartfelt “thank you” or an email to upper management praising a worker for going the extra mile can make a big difference.

For the sake of your company, your team and last but not least, your patients, you can’t afford the potentially devastating impact of staff burnout. For additional ideas on engagement and staff development, consider a partnership with MedicalPros Recruiting + Staffing. Contact us today so we can tell you more.

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