Addressing their needs to improve efficiency

The medical industry is arguably one of the most demanding fields of work on the planet. With a constant influx of patients who require medical attention, doctors and nurses around the world face challenging and stressful scenarios every single day. And although medical professionals are some of the best amongst us, the fact that even they are human must not be forgotten. They maybe saving lives on a daily basis like superheroes, but that doesn’t mean that they are immune to burnouts. 

It is obvious that such issues must be given importance. Apart from the ethical issues of extracting continuous work from these individuals, it is harmful from a productive standpoint as well, as a lack of energy and drive to work can stop operations altogether. Taking this into consideration, medical organizations have tried out several methods to help reduce the burden on our doctors and nurses. From animal therapy to ‘renewal rooms’ for nurses, organizations have come up with several strategies to combat burnout. But in most cases, the key to a satisfied health worker could boil down to something as simple as addressing the worker’s basic needs effectively. 

For this reason,  well renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with the “hierarchy of needs”. This basically arranges a person’s fundamental needs in a pyramid format according to their levels of importance and demand. When applied to a medical setting this concept points out that there are five needs that must be addressed in order for a medical professional to perform at the best of his/her abilities. 

  • Health – Although medical professionals are usually the ones doing the healing, it does not mean that they may not need the same sometimes. The stressful nature of their jobs can quite easily take a toll on both their mental and physical well being. The sight of suffering or untreatable patients could cause serious mental distress and sometimes the medical staffers who work without food or bathroom breaks due to a lack of time can experience serious physical health problems. All such issues must be addressed and appropriate services such as healthy food, timely breaks and mental health support must be provided.
  • Safety and Security – Safety within the work environment is also very important. When medical professionals are put in situations where they feel like their own well being is in danger, they will obviously not be able to perform to the best of their abilities. This is why these medical professionals must be trained to de escalate violent situations and security must be put in place to handle things if they go out of hand. Apart from physical safety, job security is also important as individuals who are in danger of losing their jobs will not have the right mindset to perform optimally. 
  • Respect – This is a problem especially amongst the clinical staffers. Due to the difference in qualifications and responsibilities, doctors generally feel superior to them and often do not recognize or appreciate their work. For this reason, sometimes, their other concerns also go unattended. Glitchy EHR systems, phones that do not work properly etc are some of the issues that sometimes go unnoticed because the voice of the medical staffers are not heard as much. Such issues must be immediately addressed by building a culture of respect through strong policies and imposing consequences if they are not followed. 
  • Appreciation and Connection – Sometimes the clinical staffers can feel under appreciated especially due to the fact that most of the credit goes to the doctors. 

This could lead to a sense of dissatisfaction amongst the staffers, especially when they feel that they are being underpaid. Apart from a hike in salary, simple things such as providing them with more room to socialize and recognizing their work can go a long way.

  • Healing patients to best of one’s abilities – Once all of the above mentioned basic needs are met. We can now finally focus on the most important part of the medical industry which is healthcare. Organizations must work towards perfecting their systems to ensure efficient care delivery so that the patients get maximum facetime with the doctors and nurses. Pairing newly recruited individuals with more experienced candidates could also prove highly beneficial as it could create a mentoring sort of relationship which could help improve the performance of both parties. 

When hospitals decide to address these issues, they will eventually end up with staff that are happier and more satisfied. And when the staff is happy and ready to work, care delivery improves which means the patients will also be happy.