Hospitals all over the country are feeling the squeeze of budget cuts. However, at the same time, hospitals and their staff are under pressure to boost patient satisfaction and the overall quality of care. This can seem like a double bind for some healthcare providers and nurse managers. How can you improve the services your facility provides while working with fewer resources and a limited budget? The answer may lie in nurse engagement. Having a team of engaged healthcare providers can help you make the most of your team’s limited resources.
The Challenge of Doing More with Less
For some hospitals and healthcare centers, doing more with less means asking the nurses on staff to put in extra hours without giving them much in return. In fact, half of all full-time nurses work an average of seven hours of overtime every week. And nurses that work more than 12 hours in a row or more than 40 hours a week are more likely to leave their jobs or become dissatisfied with their current positions. This can lead to high turnover rates at hospitals, which means more money for training and recruitment. A hospital will spend an average of $82,000 just to recruit and train one nurse.
Obviously, as a nurse manager, overworking the staff you already have isn’t a great way to improve your facility’s quality of care. Instead of pushing your employees to their breaking point, helping them feel more empowered and respected in their current role might help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for.
The Power of Enthusiasm
When a nurse feels empowered and engaged in work, they’ll be much more willing to go the extra mile for their patients. That means having a more positive attitude and doing everything they can to make a patient feel comfortable. Remember that a patient’s rating of a nurse has the most direct correlation to a facility’s overall level of patient satisfaction. So, if your nurses are happy and enthusiastic about their work, it’s a win for your patients and the entire facility.
How to Improve Nurse Enthusiasm
If you want to give back to your nurses and help them feel more respected and empowered, try doing the following:
- Have a great attitude. Studies show that nurse managers can only inspire their staff if they feel inspired themselves.
- Don’t just assign shifts blindly from the top. Come up with mutually beneficial staffing and scheduling solutions that work to everyone’s advantage.
- Encourage and foster communication between you and your colleagues. More teamwork is associated with better job satisfaction.
If you’re stressing out over budget cuts or low patient satisfaction ratings, you’re not alone. Work with your team and your employees to create a better working environment.
Learn more about how improved nurse engagement creates ROI for hospitals by downloading our Nurse Engagement White Paper.