Our interactions with doctors, nurses, and care staff are often at the center of “our medical universe,” as our own health and wellbeing is an individual priority. However, our interaction is just one of many that these providers experience on a daily basis. As a society, we appreciate medical carers and support staff because they care for us, the cure us, they keep us alive. But do these workers, often in high stress, high impact jobs, feel that appreciation from us? Do they feel valued by the organizations for which they work? With the loss of empathy and burnout on an alarming rise in the healthcare community, it's time to listen and discover what can be done to support these essential parts of the medical system. Healthcare is more than just medicine, its people, and we can’t afford to lose them, their dedication and expertise.
For the first time in my career, I am working in the medical world. As such, I have interacted with a variety of management levels and types of employees, mostly in hospital settings. One pervasive theme that I quickly noticed is that staff feels mentally and physically exhausted and that those feelings often lead to a general apathy toward their job. It saddens me to think of all my friends and family who eagerly pursued medical careers, motivated by the fact that they wanted to help people. These selfless career pursuits should be valued and appreciated.
To get the root of the problems, the goShadow sought out the authentic comments and concerns from employees at all levels of hospitals and healthcare organizations. We did this by conducting “What Matters” surveys, a feedback tool designed to capture qualitative and quantitative feedback. After understanding that our team was a third-party group the employees were eager to have a platform to express themselves without fear of negative repercussions. Aside from giving the staff a voice, we were able to give them a promise—actionable items and a process that they would continue to be a part of. Too often survey participants give their opinions or voice concerns, and never receive confirmation that the information has been received let alone put into actions.
One pervasive theme that I quickly noticed is that staff feels mentally and physically exhausted and that those feelings often lead to a general apathy toward their job.
It is remarkable to see how quickly themes, commonalities, and mutual understanding of the issues at hand can bubble up with these surveys. The aggregation of these common issues and concerns acts as a powerful tool when addressing upper management, a collection of voices always rings louder than that of one manager advocating for their staff. Giving administration and upper management these concrete findings allows them to better serve their team and enact change that truly matters. We are at a crucial time in healthcare as the patient/customer has more information and opportunities to choose their providers and employers than ever. In order to ensure quality care for patients organizations must ensure the retention of these essential staff members. The time is now to listen, learn, and take action to make certain that every medical worker is valued and a part of co-designing the ideal patient and staff experience.