How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work

Many nurses suffer from burnout at work due to long hours, lack of sleep, and strenuous shifts. This can lead to your nursing staff being unmotivated and providing low-grade care to patients. In order to prevent burnout, facility owners must implement policies that drive motivation and keep employees engaged.

How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work
How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work

When employees are engaged, they are absorbed in their work and take actions to further the organization’s reputation and interests. It’s important to keep employees engaged because they will go out of their way to better your residents and their families. Follow these tips and maintain an enthusiastic workforce.

Give Positive Feedback

Sometimes a little goes a long way. Give your staff a little recognition each day and show that you’re paying attention to all of their efforts. Employees become more inspired and motivated when they feel their work is contributing positively to the organization! Each day encourage your staff to keep up the hard work.

Show Your Appreciation

Implement an employee reward system at your facility whether it be employee of the month, overtime rewards, or work anniversary gifts. Your staff work extremely hard so they deserve a little extra appreciation! This will motivate your employees to provide their very best care every shift.

Plan Events Outside of Work

Plan a team bonding events for your employees, away from your facility. Go out to dinner, attend a sporting event, or host a holiday party. This gives your staff the opportunity to get to know you, as well as the other employees better. Employees are more enthusiastic at work when they feel close to their colleagues.

Define Your Facility’s Mission

Come up with an overall mission that is unique to your company and contributes to a greater purpose. Make it about improving the quality of life of your patients, as well as their families. This serves as a daily motivator and reminder of why your employees come to work every day.

Limit Staffing Shortages

When there are not enough nurses to provide adequate care to patients, your nurses get overworked. Overworking your staff eventually leads to burnout and disengaged employees, which makes your facility and its reputation suffer. Utilizing staffing solutions is a great way to prevent understaffing and keep your current staff engaged.

Make your facility stand out from all the others by treating your employees the best. This will not only bring more highly trained, quality staff to your facility, but also more patients requiring care. Certainly, your staff will come to your facility eager and ready to work!

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46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic

Everyone has been tired before. Sometimes life feels like too much, family responsibilities take its toll, and work adds additional stress. Being burned out, however, is vastly different and causes a lot more harm.

Burnout is a condition caused by an overly exhausting workload. Working long hours, picking up too many shifts, and physical exhaustion can all cause burnout.

46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic
46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic

Burned out nurses feel disengaged with their job. This causes nurses to lose their passion and job satisfaction. Not only is this mentally and emotionally exhausting for the healthcare professional, but the patient also suffers. Nurses that are burned out are groggy, lethargic, and unmotivated, and therefore cannot provide their best care to patients. It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent this condition BEFORE it happens.

Know the Symptoms

The first step in preventing burnout is knowing what the symptoms are. The first symptom many people notice is feeling completely disengaged with both work and personal life. Prolonged exhaustion is another symptom that is a red flag. Additionally, many nurses who are suffering from burnout have said that they feel a lack of empathy for their patients. Clearly, when a nurse is feeling the effects of burnout, everyone suffers.

Self-Management

When you begin to recognize these symptoms, it is important to take the necessary precautionary measures before burnout takes over. Whether you talk to your supervisor about your workload, or just switch up your schedule, it is important try different techniques to understand what is causing burnout. To take care of others, you must take care of yourself first.

Self-Care

In your time off, keep your own health up to par. Make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. This can be difficult for those working long shifts, and for those working nights. However, sleep is necessary. Take naps if you cannot get the recommended amount of sleep at night.

Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Most importantly, don’t overwork yourself! One of the benefits of working per-diem is the schedule flexibility. Give yourself scheduled days off. Plan time for rest and relaxation. Do whatever you can to feel your best!

With these tips, we hope to reduce the amount of burned out nurses. By taking preventative measures, the nurse’s, patient’s, and facility’s well-being will all improve.

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5 Low Cost & Relaxing Activities to Fit Your Busy Schedule

As a nurse or nurse aid, life can be crazy busy. Adding family and friend obligations on top of your job leaves little time to care for yourself. Taking just a few minutes each day to focus on yourself can leave you rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of your day.

1. Listen to Audiobooks –
With audiobooks, it’s possible to digest your favorite book or movie, within a few hours, and without reading or turning on the TV. This is what nurse and nurse aids with crazy schedules have been waiting for! You can listen to audiobooks on the way to your shift, while making breakfast, or even before bed. Split the chapters up by day so that you have a little relaxation time reserved each day.

There’s audiobooks available for sleep aid, letting go of stress, or even motivation. Although some audiobooks have to be paid for, there are some free ones available online.

2. Color an Adult Coloring Page –
Tapping into your inner child can be extremely beneficial to reducing stress. Adult coloring has been proven to have therapeutic effects. This is because coloring requires focus and attention to detail which distracts us from stress driven thoughts. In addition, coloring is a low stakes activity. Even if you color outside the lines, there are no repercussions. So feel free to scribble away!
There are free, online adult coloring pages that can be printed.

3. Play Some Tunes –
Listening to music is a great way to unwind. Music can connect with and affect your brain function as well as your feelings and emotion. There are tons of playlists online created to aid sleep, improve focus, or reduce stress. Do some searching online and find the best playlist that works for you.

Another way to feel good at low cost is to listen to some old favorites. Make a playlist that brings you back to the good old days. Nostalgia works wonders on the brain and heart!

4. Have a Glass of Wine –
Indulging in a little wine each night has proven health benefits. Hallelujah! In fact, a glass of red wine per night can prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Red wine is also high in antioxidants which when drank with a meal, can absorb the sugars of the meal faster.
So there’s no need to feel bad about drinking a little wine each night. Cuddle up with a glass and your favorite TV show. Relax and improve your health all at once!

5. Take A Technology-Free Break –
With our busy lives, sometimes its hard to find time to completely disconnect ourselves from technology. However, even if we can just find ten or twenty minutes to spare, it can help us reduce stress. The constant notifications and distractions keep us tapped into what our friends are doing, what’s going on in the world, and our work obligations. Being constantly plugged in increases our stress and anxiety because the brain never gets a chance to relax.

Try taking a technology free break at work. Go for a walk or sit outside instead. You can even set a timer at home for twenty minutes and take that technology free time to reflect on the day.

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