Healthcare environments are tricky places. Most people have no wish to be there. They are feeling unwell, in pain, vulnerable, scared and perhaps even grieving. They are places where people might be at their lowest ebb, and yet they are also the place where they are given hope. They are a place where people are given a new lease on life or even where life is just beginning. However, they are a workplace for many. One thing is true for everyone on the premises: a positive environment can improve outcomes for everyone. Learn more about the role of the environment on our overall health, on this website: https://www.natural-remedies-nurse.com
Doctors and nurses are the most obvious answer given when anyone asks about who works in healthcare settings. But the truth is that they are a workplace for many more than that. They include cleaners, cooks, and porters. There are teams working in admin and finance, and in different departments you will find specialists in the area, such as radiologists, midwives, and physiotherapists. And all these professionals need to be able to work positively together.
A healthcare setting is often a stressful environment, but there are ways that can minimize the stress. Good management can help ensure the smooth running of the setting, making it easier for all to carry out their duties. Finding ways to facilitate communication between professionals is also a good way to keep the mood positive. Poor communication can lead to misunderstanding and resentment, causing a breakdown in team spirit.
A positive working environment immunizes stress for the employees, helping to reduce the risk of burnout and minimize the chances of mistakes. Stress can also have an adverse effect on health, so in a more positive environment, there may be fewer sick days. In a place that is positive to work in, it is easier to retain good employees and attract the best candidates when positions do become open.
As well as those employed to work there, healthcare settings are very often places of learning where the next generation of medical professionals gains real-life experience. A positive environment where the students feel welcome and that works in partnership with their university will give those students the most effective experience. And by helping those students get the most out of their placements, the new doctors and nurses can achieve a higher skill level, something that will benefit us all.
Organizations such as universities will often forge strong links with the healthcare settings in their cities, a rapport that can benefit them all as they work in partnership to support and guide the students. However, not all students attend a physical university. With the rise in online courses, students at all levels study online. In a medical course, such as nursing, the theoretical elements of the course can be 100% online, but the students will still need to undertake clinical placements and like the students themselves, these may be far away from where the course is based and without the long history of partnership. If you are choosing an online course, it is a good idea to check if they offer a clinical placement service and what that provides to ensure a positive experience. Baylor University Online is a good example of an online course that works hard to optimize the clinical placements of its nursing students. As well as making sure an accessible healthcare setting is the right one to meet their students’ professional goals, they also identify a preceptor who acts as the onsite role model and provides vital feedback to help the students make the best possible progress.
Everyone who works in a healthcare setting would agree that patients are the most important ones. A positive atmosphere will lead to less stressed staff and good communication between all involved in patient care, which will in itself lead to better outcomes for patients. But what should not be underestimated is the impact of a positive atmosphere on the patients themselves. At a time when people feel frightened, vulnerable, and unwell, an atmosphere where they feel comfortable is more important than ever and will provide a boost to their mental well-being.
In a setting with a positive atmosphere, they can feel more comfortable asking questions, helping them fully understand their condition and what they need to do to bring about a recovery. They will also feel more confident in being able to speak up if something doesn’t feel right, allowing staff to identify problems quicker and perhaps at a point where they are easier to deal with.
Families and friends who are visiting patients also will prefer a positive atmosphere, making them more willing to visit and allowing the visits to feel more relaxed. They can also leave the setting with the peace of mind that they know their loved one is in the best possible hands. Even if they are attending a hospital for the saddest possible reason to see a patient in their end-of-life care, it will help both the patient and their families if those last memories are positive ones, allowing them to say their farewells in a peaceful manner.
Creating a positive atmosphere
How to improve the atmosphere of a healthcare setting will depend on many factors, including the purpose of the setting. For example, a doctor’s clinic where patients are only there for a short time will be different from a hospital where patients may spend days, weeks or even months. Good management will covey an efficiency that is reassuring to patients, families, and staff alike, while communication is essential to avoid misunderstandings, mistakes, and ill feelings. Feedback from patients, families and staff at all levels can provide valuable insights into anything that can be done to improve the setting. However, be aware that staff particularly may worry about being honest, fearing there could be repercussions to criticism. Allowing for anonymous feedback can do much to allay these fears. Having received the feedback, those in management need to consider it seriously without becoming defensive. Bringing about improvement really is a win-win scenario that will improve outcomes for all.