Due to the innate nature of caregiving business, most healthcare workers start their career as motivated and passionate about their work. Almost all healthcare workers begin their careers enthused and excited about the opportunities that await them as they begin to provide patient care. Facing challenging situations with empathy can become difficult, you voluntarily put yourselves in situations where you may bond with the sick and dying. At times you may be with a patient whom you’ve grown close to at the time of their death, you’ll need to be supportive for their family members. Yet, you return the next shift for more.
The job may require many of us to work with complex reimbursement, keep current on ever changing regulatory requirements. Keep up to date with new technology and always updated procedures. The problem is not a lack of motivation that plagues many healthcare providers, it’s the way that we unintentionally de-motivate employees.
Healthcare employees are often required to focus on negative variances. You must look for the functional deficit, the potential complication of illness that may arise, I’ve heard this referred to as a “professional problem spotter”. Unfortunately, focusing on the negative does not always provide the foundation for a positive work culture.
In many healthcare environments it becomes necessary to create an opportunity to allow staff to openly discuss what is going well in their professional workplace. Set aside time to allow staff members to openly discuss their “wins”. Start each staff meeting on a positive note, ask for examples, soon your employees and co-workers will be sharing praises from patients and family members, discussing successes seen from working with a difficult patient, or sharing how they were able to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. Situations that may be routine often need to be reviewed publicly to allow your “team” to see uplifting positives. Opening a meeting in a positive tone helps to redirect the focus to positive, rekindle your passion for healthcare. Don’t get bogged down with all the “problem spotting”, remember the passion that drove you in to the healthcare business to begin with.
Lisa Chadwick, RN, MS
Director of Risk Management