With the pandemic still surging worldwide, many healthcare employees are experiencing burnout due to long hours, stress, and staff shortages.
Some symptoms of burnout include:
- Crying easily
- Dreading going to work
- Detachment from patients
The healthcare career can be stressful on its own, but COVID-19 has forced over 55% of healthcare employees into a burned-out state in their workplace.
If you hope to see your staff succeed in an otherwise stressful environment, you’ll benefit from these tips to help your healthcare employees with burnout.
Encourage Frequent Breaks
Oftentimes, healthcare staff works 8- to 12-hour shifts, with the pandemic demanding more of their time. Though their shifts may be long, it could help their mental and physical health to take more breaks during shifts.
For example, for a 10-hour shift, you might consider allowing them 4-5 breaks, ranging from 15-30 minutes.
Frequent breaks allow employees to decompress throughout the day, rather than at home, where they only have time to sleep and do it all over again the next day.
Prioritize Employee Wellness
When your staff is stressed and struggling to stay well without any support, your patients suffer as well. Prioritize employee wellness by simply communicating with your team and asking how you can help.
Perhaps they’re worried about catching COVID-19. If so, increase PPE to enable them to protect themselves more adequately.
Instill an open-door policy to enable them to speak openly and honestly about their situations. Help them feel safe and comfortable in their workspace.
Prioritizing your employees’ wellbeing is critical to the health and success of your workers and healthcare facility.
Create a Healthy Environment
This could include providing an isolated room where they could nap and meditate, or perhaps offering them a space to exercise or eat healthy snacks.
During trying times, employees may need to complete additional tasks that aren’t part of their jobs, but this is one of many things that can lead to burnout. For example, if medical equipment needs to be repaired, make sure to leave it to professionals to fix.
Providing a space for them to “step away” from the stress and helping them stick to their duties can be highly beneficial to their mental health and foster trust and communication within your team.
Patients aren’t the only ones struggling with COVID-19; healthcare staff and their families are getting it too. With that being said, they may need to stay home to take care of a loved one, or they’re feeling sick and need to work from home. Be flexible and try to allow them to do that.
If they need time away from work, while it may be hard to do at first, try to figure out a way to either hire more staff or organize shifts to cover their PTO.
Being flexible can help your employees feel more appreciated and decrease burnout. Give them a chance to have a solid life/work balance.
Take advantage of these ways to help your healthcare employees with burnout. They’ll appreciate your effort and may start to feel more comfortable and fulfilled in their roles.