Working in healthcare has never been easy – but the emergence of the coronavirus, and the ensuing pandemic and lockdown that transpired because of it, has complicated things to an unmeasurable degree. Apart from putting many health workers in a tough situation by keeping them quarantined away from family, frontliners face death on a daily basis by exposing themselves to coronavirus-infected and seeing patients suffer and die because of the terrible disease. It is because of these experiences that stress and burnout levels are even higher than usual, and many doctors and other medical personnel are at risk of developing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This does not bode well because burnt out and traumatized people have problems maintaining the efficiency of their work, which can lead to deadly outcomes in the medical industry. Following are five ideas that medical facilities may adopt in order to manage healthcare stress for both the patient and the health worker.
- Designate An Exercise Room – Exercise is almost always beneficial, and designating a gym or exercise room for health workers can at least give them the option of getting a workout while being in the workplace. It is well known that making exercise a habit has real positive effects, including better overall brain function and an improved frame of mind. If possible, encourage them to take nature walks and other stress-relieving wellness breaks in order to break the monotony of the medical practice.
- Invest In Break Room Improvement – Everybody needs to take breaks. Doing so resets the mind and helps regain the strength needed for any work up ahead, but many health workers cannot seem to find the time they need for a breather (most especially due to the current pandemic). Provide “break rooms” in easy to access areas and make sure they are designed to generate a relaxing ambiance that can help restore and rejuvenate the personnel that drop in for a brief moment of rest. This can be done by carefully selecting artwork, decoration, and other design ideas that promote relaxation. Do not forget to incorporate nature in some way, as the mere sight of plants has been proven to lower blood pressure and make it just that much easier to de-stress.
- Maximize The Use Of Hallway Space – Once your main break rooms are operational, you may still benefit by transforming unused hallway spaces into comfort zones. This allows the opportunity for rest to present itself to health workers, patients, and patients’ loved ones as they go about their various tasks. These zones are best equipped with comfortable couches, tables, TV’s, WiFi, and other conveniences that anyone can just hang out on, rest, unwind, and regroup.
- Prioritize Comfort In Every Setting – Medical facilities should not stop at providing alleviation just for their workers. Tending to health concerns can be incredibly stressful for patients and health personnel alike, so having the ability to make comfort a part of every setting within the facility goes a long way in promoting a healing atmosphere for everyone involved. Reducing intrusive background noise by utilizing sound absorption materials is one good way to keep noise at an acceptable level. Also, avoid building up fear or anxiety by blocking out machine noises and alarms from scaring sensitive patients. A general rule of thumb is to keep noise below 45 decibels in order to avoid aggravating or triggering those that are negatively affected by noise-stress.
- Utilize Modular Rest Zones – If break rooms and reimagined hallway spaces aren’t enough, the option to have modular rest zones or sleep cubes may provide a third option for workers that prefer to be alone when resting. These mobile solutions aim to provide a portable resting place that is designed to place someone inside a “cocoon of relaxation” where tired staff members can rest easy whenever and wherever they need it most. Some modular resting spaces include relaxing soundtracks, custom lighting, sound proofing, and relaxing images that aim to cut the outside world off as much as possible.
This has not been an easy year for the healthcare industry. Physicians must find respite in any way they can. If you believe that you could benefit from delegating nuisance work away from your practice, then you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with TukkoMed today, and find the peace of mind you need to stay on course.