Healthy mind, healthy body – what about healthy workplace?

Medical professionals are often the go to guides to help build a healthy mind or body. A smart person would take their advice, knowing these professionals have years of training to help humans be their best. Even armed with all this knowledge, medical professionals have the same physical and emotional needs as everyone else. Yet, they are struggling like never before. Burn out, mental stress, anxiety and depression are increasing and each one of us should stop and take an active interest in bettering the health and mindset of this amazing group of humans.

Many of us are familiar with the premise of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, so it should be of no surprise that healthy, well-rested, safe and engaged staff are going to contribute far more positively to their role, than their tired, stressed and distracted counterparts.

“When doctors struggle with health issues, the human side of the care they are trained to give suffers, and so do we as patients”, writes Professor of Sociology at University of New South Wales, Alex Broom. Considering patients lives are in their hands it is critical to understand the part each level of the healthcare system plays. Alex continues, “Ensuring doctor wellness should be seen as ensuring quality in the Australian health-care system, promoting competence, reducing medical errors and, in turn, ensuring health system cost-effectiveness.” Yet sometimes it seems that the decisions made in a far off boardroom, focus on money and don’t take this into consideration.

One may argue that much of this depends on the individual; the medical facility doesn’t control what their staff eat, drink, or where they live or who forms part of their lives. This is certainly true to some extent, but when our workplaces form such a large part of our lives and the time we spend there is factored in by someone else, the responsibility also falls to the workplace, to ensure all medical staff are taken care of. We are all humans after-all, no one should be left with the immense emotional and physical burden put upon medical professionals. Extra attention and care is duly needed to make a substantial impact on their well-being.

So given medical facilities are governed by various Occupational Workplace Health and Safety Acts, surely this is enough to combat the issues?

Evidently, no. These Acts may help medical facilities work towards improved conditions, but they often become tick-box exercises and the meaning behind implementation can be lost amid their administrative nature. It takes strong leadership from the top down, to implement a healthy workplace culture, that takes the laws and turns them into real import to each staff member.

The field of medicine doesn’t fall into the cookie-cutter methods used for the corporate world, yet this shouldn’t stop us from reviewing findings to ensure staff are working at their best. Let’s analyse some ways hospitals or medical facilities can improve the work-life balance of their staff.

The Minds Count website analyses 13 Factors for Workplace Wellbeing. We are going to review point 11 Workplace Balance.

A work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life.

  • The organisation encourages people to take their entitled breaks (e.g. lunchtime, sick leave, annual leave, parental leave).
  • Staff are able to reasonably meet the demands of personal life and work.
  • The organisation promotes life-work harmony.
  • Staff can talk to their supervisors when they are having trouble maintaining harmony between their life and work.
  • People have energy left at the end of most workdays for their personal life.

When we look at this list, it may seem like a dream to many healthcare professionals. Here at Core Schedule, we understand it is not an easy feat to take so many facets into consideration at one time, but if this is the way forward to keeping staff healthy, engaged, safe and well-rested, it is imperative to work towards. It is something every healthcare facility and their leaders need to consider when planning and scheduling the rosters for their departments. Since Core Schedule is designed specifically for healthcare, our systems allow you to adhere to the appropriate Workplace Health and Safety Acts, along with giving health professionals a real-time view of their schedule. This gives them a clearer picture and more control over their time inside and outside the workplace, leading to improved work-life balance.

So, let’s put all the excuses aside and make a change today. Medical professionals are all humans and like everyone in society, cannot perform at their best when compromised physically and emotionally. Do your part and speak to us about your unique needs and how our tailored approach can improve the work-life balance at your medical facility.