How Medical Professionals can Promote Psychologically Secure Workplaces

How Medical Professionals can Promote Psychologically Secure Workplaces

With emergency center closings, a shortage of family doctors, and lengthy wait times for long-term care, it appears that Canada’s health care staffing crisis is becoming worse every day.

Health care employees who have been asked to labor in hazardous conditions for years environments that were noticeably worsened during COVID-19 have become physically and psychologically burned up.

Leaders in the healthcare industry can play a significant part in creating workplaces that are psychologically safer and support the wellbeing of our healthcare workers. It takes leaders who are aware of how decades of resource shortages, poor working conditions, patient mistreatment, and the pandemic have contributed to the widespread burnout and job discontent among employees to create safer workplaces.

Physically and emotionally unsafe

Health care professionals in Canada were already dealing with depression and exhaustion prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to escalating physical and verbal abuse, worsening work environments, and rising rates of stress and depression, the epidemic has made already unfavorable working conditions even worse.

Therefore, it is not unexpected that more healthcare professionals are quitting their jobs, which worsens working conditions for those who stay in the industry.

Personal support workers (PSWs), nurses, doctors, and paramedics working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, primary care offices, and emergency services are all experiencing higher levels of stress. The difficulties are not unique to one set of healthcare professionals or one type of employment. Long-term care PSWs report disrespectful working conditions, low staff-to-patient ratios, and physically and emotionally dangerous work settings.

We are aware that workplace productivity, retention, absenteeism, conflict, and overall operational effectiveness are all closely correlated with psychological health and safety. Canadian healthcare executives, managers, and supervisors are uniquely qualified to assist healthcare firms in creating workplaces where employees feel valued and secure.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has provided funding for our research team to look at the challenges and opportunities that healthcare organizations encounter while establishing safe work environments. We conducted surveys and in-depth interviews with hundreds of healthcare professionals from various fields, companies, and provinces. Here’s what they told us:

  • Health care professionals are given a lot of attention, but not enough time or space, to develop their resilience. Organizations can help by protecting time off for workers.
  • Healthcare professionals have told us that having access to long-term organizational tools like wellness champions, ethicists, and good health benefits for all healthcare professionals (for instance, benefits that cover counseling sessions) would improve their wellbeing.
  • A fair and secure work environment is created by appropriate and open operational policies and procedures that apply to clinical care and/or human resources throughout the entire organization. By ensuring that those policies and procedures are routinely applied and followed, managers may help their employees even more.
  • Organizations ought to look for and support leaders that are capable, caring, and sincere. The development of talented health care leaders who can perform well in challenging circumstances is essential and should be encouraged. Managers need support from their organizations since they have endured a lot over the past few years.
  • In our survey, fewer than half of the healthcare professionals reported working in an ethical environment. For instance, many health care professionals do not have access to the supports they need to resolve moral conundrums. The creation of an ethical workplace can dealthemonstrate to its employees that they desire to shield them from moral pain, which is a fantastic area for health care organizations to concentrate on.

Transparency and effective communication, according to healthcare employees, are essential for building trust in their leaders.

Health care professionals that are passionate, dedicated, and highly skilled are essential to our system’s future. Every health care worker requires an organization that values and prioritizes their psychological health and safety in every workplace across every province.