The World Doesn’t “Get” Your Biggest Fear
Given my work as an inspirational healthcare speaker, I have the ongoing privilege of talking to healthcare workers throughout the country. Having once placed my life and recovery in the hands and hearts of medical providers and a team of dedicated healthcare workers, I came to appreciate your daily challenges and I know that in many cases, things have gotten worse.
Where has everyone gone?
Pre-pandemic, healthcare facilities were already coping with staff shortages. The National Hospital Flash Report of September 2021, a survey of 900 hospitals showed that post pandemic, staffing was reduced by 3 percent. The summary noted that the trend was unlikely to abate anytime soon.
“Hospital officials…said their organizations may need to ration care due to shortages in equipment, staffing, and beds to accommodate high acuity patients.”
From a polite distance, this rationing may sound like “it’s a their problem, problem.” No, it isn’t. Having had a real-life emergency problem, I shudder to think of what might have happened had I had less than such a strong group effort.
What happens during a staff shortage? Team members who are remaining are often forced to work overtime, even in a different area, as they descend into low morale and sometimes leave the profession.
Projections show the attrition problem will only get worse across the healthcare industry, by 2026 experts expect a shortfall of more than 3 million workers.
A never-ending cycle
Stress, leading to burnout, leading to workers walking away from millions of healthcare jobs is a never-ending cycle, and despite what the outside world might believe it is not a cycle that can be cured by throwing bushels of money on the fire. Though robotic surgical techniques have gained widespread recognition, those performing it and supporting it are hardly robotic, but people.
For, in the cycle of burnout, safety is compromised for the worker and patient alike. How much overtime can solve a problem? How many extra shifts? How many workers will be forced to work in an area that in unfamiliar?
As an inspirational healthcare speaker, I am asked if there is a solution to burnout and this cycle of attrition anywhere in sight? The world often doesn’t “get” your biggest fear: the fear of failure, and burnout and possibly, harming a patient.
To reverse the outcomes, will take a determination and a visualization of coming together to uplift not only one another, but an entire caring industry.
In summary from the projection study I cited above, comes the following highly relevant quote:
“Job decisions [must be] based on more than just pay and perks. Looking beyond the traditional dollars-and-cents levers, healthcare systems should take a hard look at their workplace culture and identify the elements that may be contributing to attrition and difficulty in recruiting.”
The dollars-and-cents levers might be precisely the problem and not the solution. Healthcare workers are not machines, but people. Healthcare technologies will continue to improve, but real-life humans must have the ability to thrive in that environment. Unless professionals are able to thrive, they are guaranteed to fail.
In the end, healthcare professionals—real people—saved my life. I am eternally grateful. Unless the culture of your healthcare workplace puts people above all else, the cycle of attrition will continue. If it isn’t happening, it’s time for a new mindset.
To reach Scott Burrows, Inspirational Healthcare Speaker, contact Scott today by phone at: 520 – 548 – 1169 or through this website.