How to Improve a Nurse’s Morale
Low nurse morale leads to lower productivity, higher turnover, a lack of concern over details regarding patient care, the withholding of information, time wasted on complaining and gossiping, and resentment toward doctors.
Unhappy nurses tend to direct their hostility to patients, which can affect a patient’s treatment process or even the patient’s desire to obtain treatment. Because nursing can be a demanding and stressful job, many nurses suffer from burnout. Take concrete steps to improve nurse morale and create a positive work environment.
3 Steps to Improve a Nurse’s Morale
1. Plan a stress-management program that includes meaningful services and activities for your nurses.
When Providence Hospital, an acute care inpatient facility, began to provide care for the indigent in the midst of budget cuts, nurse turnover and job dissatisfaction soon increased. To address low nurse morale, the hospital implemented a stress management program that included weekly massages and a weight-loss program, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website.
It also offered nurses the opportunity to join the hospital’s softball team and book club, visit the healing garden, and perform in the hospital’s annual talent show. Encourage your nurses to participate in the hospital’s “extracurricular activities.” Survey them to determine the type of stress- reduction services that may boost morale, and implement them.
2. Consider changes in nursing staff behaviors, such as more frequent rounding.
Hourly rounding enables nurses to collect patient information in a regimented way and reduces call lights by about 38 percent.
Empower your nurses with hourly rounding, helping them to react to patient problems in a proactive way rather than passively responding to call lights in a frequent and haphazard manner. By freeing up time in nurses’ busy schedules, your nurses can spend higher-quality face-to-face time with patients and feel better about the job they do.
3. Take practical steps to cut down nurses’ hours spent on dismal chores, such as changing and cleaning bedpans.
When practical, implement disposable systems so nurses don’t have to spend time washing items for patient care. For example, many American hospitals are switching to single-use paper products for waste disposal, a longstanding practice in European hospitals.
According to Nurse Zone, Toronto-based Vernacare manufactures bedpans from recycled telephone books and newspapers. Nurses can dispose of these eco-friendly bedpans in a macerator, which grinds the bedpans into fine paper bits that travel with human waste into the sewer system