In 7/12/2012 Hospital Impact article, Balancing Act: Sustaining Patient Experience Efforts by organizational effectiveness expert, Jason Wolf, he discusses how leaders, people, and organizational cultures play an integral and critical role in sustaining positive patient experience. To bring his point home consider the case of the noisy nurses’ station.
Creating a therapeutic environment for patients seems like an obvious goal for any healthcare facility and noisy nurses’ stations an obvious a barrier. Recently, a friend was sharing her experience in the hospital and sharing how frustrating it was to hear nurses and doctors laughing and talking. I knew what she was talking about and could easily empathize with her. I also know this issue is a challenge to hospitals competing for best customer survey results and, as a nurse, felt a little defensive.
Noisy nurses’ stations may interfere with a patient’s sleep, comfort and even trust of caregivers. A knee jerk reaction might be to think that the nurses are being inconsiderate and somehow mandate quiet!
A more proactive approach will look deeper into the problem while respecting the complexity and demands of nursing work.We must create therapeutic environments for patients AND healthy workplaces for nurses! Click To Tweet
Are Nurses at the Fire All the Time?
The high-stakes, high-stress work environments that nurses practice in are incredibly demanding intellectually, physically, and emotionally. Patient alarms, clinical assessment, shifting priorities, tragedy, challenging family dynamics, constantly shifting priorities, intimidating physicians, passive-aggressive colleagues help to describe the minute to minute world of nursing care. Meanwhile, inadequate staffing and sicker patients result in unrelenting stress. It is as if nurses are “at the fire” ALL the time!
Why are Nurses’ Conversations Important?
- Optimize learning opportunities for sharing knowledge about clinical issues, organizational changes, new technology and patient/family needs.
- Support for stress.
- Time for team-building.
Noisy nurses’ stations are not appropriate, but ensuring time and place for nurses to talk is!
How Can We Create Therapeutic Environments for Patients AND Nurses?
This is a super question to ask nurses! Or even better, nurses AND patient advocates!