A career in healthcare can be more rewarding and fulfilling than any other. The feeling of saving lives and affecting positive health outcomes is second to none. It’s also true, however, that these careers can yield an extraordinary amount of professional and personal stress, which can lead to long-term behavioral health issues that affect quality of life, and can directly jeopardize the care of patients.

A recent study published by the AMA found that 43.9 percent of U.S. physicians exhibited at least one symptom of burnout in 2017. Burnout is a phenomenon that is also common among nurses and support professionals. The findings are a glaring reminder of the importance of self-care for these employees.

For healthcare employees, remaining passionate and enthusiastic toward the care of their patients also means taking care of themselves (we’ve all heard the tope about the mother on the plane with the oxygen mask, right?), and healthcare supervisors are directly empowered to integrate workplace policies that encourage self-care. Below are some of the ways that organizations can increase the joy in practice of their workers.

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of U.S. physicians exhibited at least one symptom of burnout in 2017

Challenge, Recognition, and Reward

The fact is that most healthcare employees still have that spark and desire to help people, however dimmed it may seem by day-to-day circumstances. They got into their careers to make a difference, and want to maintain that feeling until the day they retire, and beyond.

Creating an environment that challenges them to enrich their education, recognizes their desire to grow, and rewards their accomplishments through tangible workplace advancement is an ideal way to maintain a pipeline of proud, committed employees who are always increasing their knowledge.

This could include offering continuing education units, quality-of-life incentives, internal upward mobility, and other measures.

Robust Behavioral Health and Stress Management Resources

A “bad day” for a doctor or nurse is often very different from that of any other professional. Healthcare professionals are human, and they are impacted by trauma the same as anybody. The only difference is they are exposed to it much more, whether it’s dealing with patient mortality, seeing people physically or emotionally deteriorate, or constantly being put in the middle of actual physical trauma and high-pressure situations.

Integrating in-house behavioral health resources, like on-staff psychologists, referral programs for specialty facilities, and employee-wellness programs that focus on healing from PTSD and other trauma-related conditions can help.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

Reducing (and adequately compensating) overtime, increasing financial incentives, and adopting more stringent recruitment processes to make sure all employees are pulling their own weight are other invaluable everyday ways to keep healthcare employees happy and productive.

Healthcare organizations can also strive to offer more flexible scheduling policies, increased opportunity for travel, more intuitive bonus structures, and lower patient-to-care provider ratios. Granular wellness programs can include holistic resources, like massage, meditation, and rewards for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

GoMo Health is ready to partner with your healthcare organization to keep employees satisfied, validated, and proud to come to work every day. Concierge Care® personalizes care plans on a large scale, improving outcomes, reducing the cost of care, and increasing employee joy in practice.

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