08 Jan

As the author concludes his dissertation on the relationship between pay satisfaction and the intention to leave among acute care hospital Registered Nurses, I reflect on my experiences of why healthcare workers stay or leave an organization. The past 26 years as a healthcare worker have revealed many reasons why people leave. The past 26 years have revealed why people stay. There is no doubt that the healthcare industry is in jeopardy. The reason is easy to explain. There need to be more workers to do the job. 

Twenty-six years ago, the work environment was different. You did what you had to do to take care of patients. There were no social media outlets to share your feelings, how hard you worked, or the conditions you worked in. You just did your work, went home, and did it all over again. Technology links the real-time stress of being a healthcare worker to the rest of the world. As the author reflects on past experiences, it is easy to say, "thank god," this did not exist as its causes created deflection of the valid reason why people get into healthcare. The year 2023 must bring new changes, perceptions, and revelations. A shift of what is wrong in healthcare to what is right. Only then can we change the climate, enhance what is working well and shift the negative annotation driving people away from the industry.

 Working in healthcare is a beautiful experience. People enter healthcare to help and serve others who are not in the same place. A societal change is necessary to overcome anger, negativity, and criticism. If "Society" wants to be cared for in the United States, then "Society" must show empathy to those still willing to jump into the battlefields of healthcare. Those jumping onto the battlefields of healthcare must exhibit empathy for "Society" for this abrupt, unrealistic, and demeaning view it now has of healthcare. If the focus does not shift to what is working well and what we can do to attract people to this incredible profession, the cycle will take "Society" down a path we do not want to go down.  

There are several strategies that healthcare organizations can use to attract workers and make healthcare "beautiful" again:

  1. Offering competitive salaries and benefits: One of the most effective ways to attract workers is to offer competitive pay and benefits packages. This helps ensure healthcare workers feel valued and financially secure in their jobs.
  2. Creating a positive work environment: A positive work environment can help to make healthcare jobs more appealing to workers. This can include supportive management, good working conditions, and opportunities for professional development.
  3. Providing training and education opportunities: Offering training and education opportunities can help attract workers looking to advance their careers. This includes continuing education courses, on-the-job training, and leadership development programs.
  4. Promoting work-life balance: Many healthcare workers are attracted to jobs that allow them to balance their work and personal lives well. Organizations can promote work-life balance by offering flexible scheduling options, paid time off, and other policies that support a healthy work-life balance.
  5. Marketing the organization as a great place to work: Healthcare organizations can use marketing and branding efforts to highlight the benefits of working for their organization and attract top talent. This includes promoting the organization's culture and values, highlighting employee testimonials, and sharing success stories.

If you work in healthcare, close your eyes and think of the great things that transpire. Think of the reasons you entered the profession and your contributions. Now imagine if someone told you that healthcare was always horrible. You are now deprived of these experiences and feelings. Working in healthcare has always been a  balancing act. Do not let the negative attention from those unwilling to try or move the needle influence you away from this fantastic profession. "Someone" must continue to improve the culture and attract others. We all must do our part. If we continue to make healthcare horrible, then healthcare will be horrible. If we drive it to extinction based on constant criticism, then we will be alone in the future. Think about it. We must change the "Societal" view of healthcare and look for opportunities and solutions instead of criticisms and blame.

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