Overworked By Default
If you or someone close to you works in the healthcare industry, you know that few jobs are as stressful as what you do. As a healthcare professional, you are constantly putting your mental health on the line with long work hours, copious amounts of physical and emotional labor, and exposure to suffering and even death. So it’s no surprise that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 93% of health workers are stressed and overworked.
So, what can you or healthcare administrators change when so much of this is the norm for the industry? Fortunately, there is much you can do to solve these problems. Here are some ways you can promote mental health in the healthcare industry.
1. Offer digital wellness programs
As you know, seeking professional help for mental health isn’t always easy. Going to an appointment can take a lot of time away from work, and time is what you have least as a healthcare worker. The idea of opening up to a stranger can make the whole thing even more stressful. That’s why mental health apps can address these obstacles by offering mental health tracking, breathing exercises and meditation programs to relax instantly, and other forms of accessible and free psychological care.
As exemplified by our self care companion Earkick, these apps can extend the reach of support and are available 24/7. They also allow you to become your best and happiest self, explore and build sustainable micro routines, own your mental readiness, and improve your mood in your own time. By identifying mental health risks, you can be alerted and have actionable solutions to tackle them.
If your company has the enterprise solution, your managers will get aggregated data and know how to best prevent stress-related issues such as burnout, anxiety, and depression. This way, you as a healthcare worker can receive constant and personalized assistance for your mental health.
2. Outsource mental health services
As a healthcare professional, you may often be overwhelmed by long work hours, continuous learning, and hard labor. And with you needing to focus on providing care and treatment, taking on the emotional distress of patients and their families can worsen stress. Your administrators can bridge this problem by outsourcing support to social service specialists.
Social service specialists work closely with patients and their families, helping them navigate care and recovery. They can connect clients with resources like support systems or health networks they may need once they’re out of the hospital. By outsourcing these services, administrators can help alleviate affected healthcare professionals of emotional stress.
3. Introduce work-from-home or telehealth set-ups
The idea of offering physiological care virtually may seem counterintuitive, but it can actually solve a lot of problems related to overworking in healthcare. Telehealth allows work to be distributed more evenly among doctors and nurses. They also help patients get access to necessary medical care, even without hospitals or clinics nearby.
Healthcare administrators can make work-from-home or telehealth set-ups accessible to you and your coworkers by identifying which tasks you can do remotely. This can include coordinating patient intake, managing medical records, and handling claims. Administrators can also reduce strain on onsite medical professionals by allowing you to accommodate initial check-ups online. So instead of overloading onsite hospital staff, patients only need to come in once it’s recommended by a doctor after their telehealth consultation. This way, you and your patients can save time and resources.
4. Utilize HR software
Your workplace conditions have the biggest impact on your mental health. So to foster an environment that promotes emotional wellness, workplace culture and leadership should make work-life balance easy to achieve. By limiting work shifts, providing mental health support programs, and establishing firm leave policies, the weight you carry can feel much lighter. With HR software to automate the management of these initiatives, your workplace can ensure smooth implementation.
These programs help managers streamline the assignment of shifts so that they are spaced out, giving you and your colleagues enough time to rest and recharge. HR software can also track employee performance so that recurring mistakes can be addressed. This way, they can provide you with personalized support that helps correct these mistakes so you can avoid the stress they induce in the future. Most importantly, your leaves and benefits can be managed more efficiently, so you can make full use of them.
Nurses, doctors, technicians, and specialists are professionals that everyone depends on. By fighting for adequate mental health services, healthcare professionals like you can make the industry better for your and everyone else’s well-being.
Know of any other ways to make your job in health care easier? Get in touch and start using the free Earkick self care companion.
Written exclusively for blog.earkick.com by JB Hampton