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National Nurses Week: How to Engage to Retain Talent

Sodexo • by David Stewart, Senior Manager of Patient Experience

In the last twelve months, healthcare professionals have been faced with monumental challenges – a pandemic none could have predicted, unanticipated stress and trauma, and legitimate cause for wanting to leave their chosen profession.  

This week, we take the opportunity to specifically thank, honor, and remember our nurses.  With incredible resilience, healthcare teams have powered through, remaining on the frontlines to care for patients. But the reality is that nurses, who are essential parts of the health system, are grappling with trauma and choosing to leave the industry in droves.

 

According to Lisa MacLean, MD, Director of Physician Wellness at HFHS, there are four main truths in this crisis:  

  • We are not the best source of truth for determining our own level of stress.
  • Traumatized individuals typically won’t ask for help.
  • As our coping skills become overwhelmed, new and often maladaptive behaviors surface.
  • It requires all eyes and ears to recognize when someone is struggling and needs support. 

 

How can we keep life-saving nursing professionals in the field? What can we do to support them? 

It starts with remembering why we are in the health industry. We’re charged with caring for patients. And a patient’s experience is directly impacted by the disposition and level of stress of each person with whom they interact. 

As on an airplane, when we’re told to adjust our masks before assisting others, the real challenge facing nurses is self-care. The buzziest of buzz words in recent years, self-care is a valid priority that, when neglected, can be the determining factor between focused care and an overwhelmed, agitated care professional.  

At Sodexo, our goal is to power human care. And this doesn’t refer to patients alone. We’re in hospitals, emergency rooms, operating rooms, and kitchens to support the medical staff —to ensure their resilience is sustained. Central to this effort is engaging staff, ensuring basic needs are met, then communicating our support in tangible ways.  

Within our Experiencia platform, our award-winning CARES program implements the critical piece of recognition to ensure nurses and other team members are equipped with the tools to make a difference and to be recognized for their efforts. 

This week we’re recognizing not only the hard work nurses do every day, but also the need to support their overall well-being. Without nurses, the last twelve months would have meant even more devastating consequences in the healthcare industry.  

If you’re alive today, thank a nurse.

May 05, 2021

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