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Stress in Healthcare Workers: 3 Ways to Reduce Stress

Every workplace environment faces its share of daily challenges. In the healthcare industry, where hours are long and expectations are high, healthcare workers suffer from occupational stress. Often because they are faced with strict compliance regulations, they may not have enough time or social support at work. This can lead to severe distress, and physician burnout. Further, it can result in host of physical and psychological issues such as headaches, depression, and poor concentration.

Not only is this stress harmful to healthcare workers, it can significantly affect employee performance. Stress can be passed to other staff in the form of negative energy or taking shortcuts on the job.

Read over the following three ways to reduce stress in healthcare and see how you can apply these strategies to your career.  

1. Reduce Stress in Healthcare by Creating a Positive Work Culture

We spend about one-third of our lives working, so our work environment has a large impact on our well-being! A great way to reduce stress in healthcare workers is to create a positive work culture. Some ideas include: having a welcome lunch for new employees, and encourage team bonding activities. Additionally, try continuously highlight the great work everyone is doing, and encourage an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns. To stay motivated, just remember that creating a great corporate culture doesn’t happen overnight and it requires everyone’s efforts.

2. Practice Healthy Habits at Work

A great way to reduce stress in healthcare workers is to promote and practice healthy habits while at work. Try organizing group yoga, meditation, and walks with your co-workers! One study found that physical relaxation (e.g. yoga) and mental relaxation (e.g. meditation) reduced the stress in healthcare workers. Stocking the fridge and break room with fresh produce and order from healthier restaurants for lunch meetings are other healthy practices for work. Additionally, turn to your co-workers for support. If you are stressed at work, chances are others are stressed too. A strong support system can help buffer you from the negative effects of occupational stress. Just remember to listen and offer support when they are in need as well.

3. Streamline Stressful and Time-Consuming Tasks

There are a lot of stressful aspects of the job that can be streamlined so healthcare workers can actually do what they entered the field to do -- take care of patients. One way that administrators and frontline staff can reduce the time they spend on stressful, time-consuming tasks is by implementing an automated software. A software that organizes on-call schedules, makes communication with physicians more efficient, and houses frequently requested documents staff may need to review.

Although there will inevitably be stress in any work environment, striving to reduce it will benefit employees, patients, and the facility as a whole. Promoting stress-reducing activities like creating a positive work culture, practicing healthy habits at work, and streamlining stressful tasks will ease the strain and make work more enjoyable, which overall, enhances patient care.

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