Stress is drowning your hospital personnel! here's how to get air!

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We know our members want to be able to provide patients with the compassionate care they deserve." says Glen Turp Director Royal College of Nursing Yorkshire. According to the US Dept of Labor, stress levels among hospital workers are indeed on the rise. Big time. The destructive effects of stressed out, burnt out hospital employees can hurt everybody.

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Stress is drowning your hospital personnel! here's how to get air!

  1. 1. Stress is drowning your hospital personnel! Heres how to get air!We know from speaking to our members who work at our hospitalthat morale is suffering and stress levels are on the rise.We are fearful for what the future holds for patients, for our nursesand health care workers.We know our members want to be able to provide patients with thecompassionate care they deserve." says Glen Turp Director RoyalCollege of Nursing Yorkshire. According to the US Dept of Labor,stress levels among hospital workers are indeed on the rise. Bigtime. The destructive effects of stressed out, burnt out hospitalemployees can hurt everybody.Maybe youre one of its victims. However, if you have been living life on this planet, the idea of experiencing acompletely stress free lifestyle is ridiculous, impossible and even unhealthy. Knowing when healthy stress levelsmove to unhealthy ones is key. Building a workplace culture that engages, motivates and recognizes your nurses,facilitators, staff physicians and other personnel for their contribution brings happier employees. Its no secret thatcreating a happier staff creates happier patients.Adding recognition impacts the individual to contribute to morale, quality of care, industry reputation and yourbottom line. Here are some ideas that will help you and your organization breath easier again.I remember jogging along a beautiful wooded area in upstate New York last summer. Then some days later I began to experience chills, shakes and headaches. During one highway drive down acrowded, busy lane, I found out I couldnt steer my car. I had lost muscle control of my arms and legs. My closefriends, John and Ellen came and rushed me to the emergency room. My diagnosis? Lyme disease. I am very gratefulto everyone who made themselves available to me throughout my recovery. Thats the power of recognition. Thedoctor said I would be out of commission for a while. His orders included no appointments or plans for two weeks,minimum. No business, no clients. I was naturally anxious.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  2. 2. The hospital personnel at Henry Hudson Hospital were upbeat, attentive and supportive. They made me feel I was ingoods hands. I followed their protocol. I exercised, changed my diet, got quiet and got well. I deeply thanked themall and told them I hope theyre getting bunches of recognition and rewards. Maybe. Thats the power of recognitionand my practicing healthy stress. The stress of making healthy changes actually boosted my immune system.Indentifying when healthy stress becomes unhealthy is your gague showing you where you should makeimprovements in yourself and workplace environment. The use of sincere and regular recognition is aproven alchemist.Hospital personnel are famous for pulling patients through super stressful situations but often neglect theirown. Unhealthy and destructive stress levels undermine an employees ability to perform at their best.Overwork, understaffing, tight schedules, paperwork, intricate or malfunctioning equipment can be atrigger to undermine safety and promote illness and injuries. Your nurses and staff physicians regularlyhave to work within a complex hierarchy of authority. Then there are the dependent, demanding patientsand their families. Themselves under stress. Patient death can many times bring to all an overwhelmingsense of failure and guilt. All contributing to high levels of destructive stress.According to Dr. Juliet Bruce, "the incredible pressure and stress to provide patient care also falls on those"people who operate the technology and shepherd patients through the acute care journey, from the firstterrifying admissions interview, through pre-surgical tests and prep, to and from the OR to recovery -- andultimately to discharge. Their impact on a patients experience is huge. They bear the brunt of the stress inour dysfunctional care system, are on the receiving end of most complaints, and yet they are the forgottenemployees." Dr Juliet Bruce PH D is a journalist and counselor to hospitals and government personnel.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  3. 3. Signs of Unhealthy Stress.Unhealthy stress levels have been associated with loss of appetite, ulcers, mental disorder, migraines,difficulty in sleeping, emotional instability, disruption of social and family life, and the increased use ofcigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Stress can also affect worker attitudes and behavior. Some frequentlyreported consequences of stress among hospital workers are difficulties in communicating with very illpatients, maintaining pleasant relations with coworkers, and judging the seriousness of a potentialemergency.RemediesIn addition to taking personal responsibly for reducing your unhealthy stress levels it is valuable that yourorganization has a recognition program in place that recognizes and rewards performance.There are things you can do for yourself personally to transition unhealthy stress to healthy stress. If youare of a spiritual temperment, silent time, prayer and meditation will work its metaphysical magic. Exerciseand diet can not be overemphasied. “The stress that moderate exercise provides is quite healthy andprovides many positive effects,”says Jessica Matthews MS, continuing education coordinator for theAmerican Council on Exercise (ACE) and ACE-certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor“From a physiological perspective, the demands being placed on the body during exercise help it to becomemore efficient in completing everyday activities. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the level ofstress hormones in the body, such as cortisol, while simultaneously increasing the level of endorphins in thebody, resulting in that ‘feel good’ sensation. In fact, research has even shown that exercise itself may makeus more resilient to stress overall.”Mark Goulston, MD, a clinical psychiatrist and author of Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, brings up Cortisol. This stress hormone is released. Healthy stress also triggersadrenaline release and can help you focus and think more clearly.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  4. 4. Larina Kase, PhD, a Pennsylvania-based psychologist and the author of The Confident Leader: How theMost Successful People Go from Effective to Exceptional. “Stress often precedes or accompanies creativebreakthroughs,”According to The Society for Human Resource Management. Using the right approach to "recognition andreward empowers employee performance while effectively reducing their stress." Their study goes on to sayorganizations with "strategic plans in place where the awards connect to corporate values, found 28.6percent lower frustration levels than companies without these programs. Additionally, those withrecognition programs were 25.4 percent more likely to have a clear understanding of their organizationalobjectives. Employees reported feeling 21.5 percent more enabled, and the organizations enjoyed aturnover rate 23.4 percent lower than those without recognition programs."Communication tools can help to get the word out to your personnel about your mission and goals. Youcan promote wellness throughout your organization and retain your valuable personnel via peer to peerrecognition or top down incenti-vizing.Here is one example of a recognition and rewards strategy we put together for a regional hospital client inNew York.They were looking to setup an environment that reduced workforce stress, supported better service,loyality and retention, pride in ones tasks, respect for patients and co-workers, innovation, perfectattendance, teamwork and years of dedicated service. We were able to convey to the CFO the value of arewards initiative to turn things around. You can learn more about our SPIRIT program by downloading ourfree ebook for senior hospital management. In addition, we brought IncentiWeb® technology into the mix.This enabled us to provide virtually unlimited award choices, communication tools and complete trackingand reporting of every aspect of their program in real time. ROI.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  5. 5. The program was called:Set Your Core Values S.P.I.R.I.T.©S ServiceP PrideI Improvement R RespectI InnovationT TeamworkINTRODUCTIONS AND GREETINGS. Because it is important to make customers feel welcomed, comfortableand secure, I introduce myself to them. (Behaviors demonstrated and rewarded.)1. I greet customers with a smile, establish eye contact and deliver an appropriate greeting. (e.g. hello,good morning, good afternoon etc)2. When meeting patients for the first time, I introduce myself and explain what I will be doing.3. During my first contact with patients, I address them formally, (Mr. Mrs. Ms.) I ask them how they wouldlike to be addressed and make a note for future contacts. Patients should NEVER be addressed as sweetie,honey or dear.4. I greet customers as I approach them-with eye contact if passing in the hall and with their name.5. I wear my name badge above my waist with my name, picture and title/department in an upright,readable position.“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – AristotleShare This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  6. 6. WAYFINDING AND DIRECTIONSBecause it is often confusing, I assist customers in finding their way around the hospital/outpatientareas.(Behaviors demonstrated and rewarded):1. I look out for customers who appear lost and offer them my assistance. If at all possible.2. I escort customers to their destination. If it is not possible to escort them, or I do not know how to findtheir destination, I find someone who can help them.CUSTOMER WAITINGI respect customers time, since I understand how stressful it can be to wait.(Behaviors demonstrated and rewarded):1. I educate patients and their families about testing/ treatment process or services that provide theinformation they need.2. If there is a delay, I will keep the customer informed about the delay..3. I always thank customer for waiting and apologize for delays.4. I remain aware of waiting times and remind appropriate co-workers and physicians concerning excessivewaits.5. I offer alternatives and options if wait times are unacceptable to the patient.6. I help maintain patient comfort while waiting (blankets, magazines, etc.) If I am unable to address anissue immediately I provide the customer with a time frame in which I can respond.7. I am careful to manage customer expectations be providing an accurate time frame during which thecustomer can expect a response.You can view the whole SPIRIT program in its entirety by downloading our free ebook for seniormanagementShare This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  7. 7. Indentifying where your unhealthy stress levels exist, making positive changes and implementing arecognition and rewards program will go a long way toward reducing unhealthy stress levels and creationof a happier environment for all. Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.

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