Creating a Healthier Practice Environment

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happy work environmentYour life’s work is creating a healthier life for your patients, but have you taken the time to develop an environment for your nurses, assistants, and office staff that supports that mission? Happy, healthy people are more efficient and productive, so it only stands to reason that considering how your work environment affects the health of your employees should be a priority. Not sure where to get started to create a healthier practice environment? Here are a few simple tips.

Support Work-Life Balance

One of the biggest stressors that can wear on the health of your employees, as well as yourself, is establishing work-life balance. It seems there are never enough hours in a day to take care of both work and home responsibilities. Listen to your employees and understand their struggles. Create an environment that makes it easy for them to create personal schedules that allow them to be there for the important things with home and family, which will free up their focus and energy when on the job. Encourage everyone to use their personal time off and schedule vacation time throughout the year to help them unwind.

Encourage Physical Fitness

Physical fitness improves overall health and by encouraging your staff to take care of their bodies, you will reduce sick days and increase performance. Look into working with a local gym for a discount for your employees or a reduced group rate for memberships. If you are in a large facility that has ample extra space, turn a storage room into an on-site mini gym for employee use. Supporting your staff in their physical fitness efforts will help them to make it a bigger priority in their lives.

Create an Illness Policy

Nothing can put the brakes on a productive practice like a bout of the flu or a stomach virus circulating through the office. While you may not be able to avoid picking things up from patients, create an illness policy for your staff members to ensure that they stay home and recuperate when they are ill. You’ll be protecting the rest of your staff, yourself, and your patients, as well as getting the ill staff member back to peak performance in less time.

Include Mental Health Support

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to overall quality of life. Ensure that your staff has access to mental health services and that these are covered under insurance policies if you are able to control benefits. Encourage them to use these services and help to break the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

A healthy practice is a productive practice! By doing your part to support the health and well-being of your staff – and yourself – you will find that your practice is a healthier, happier, and more efficient place to work. Make the changes that you need to your office policies and procedures to support the overall health of everyone and better serve your patients.

 

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1 comment on “Creating a Healthier Practice Environment”

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    I have passed through the situations you mentioned, but I always followed my own principal and did what’s best for the patients and workplace. One of our Charge Nurse in the facility was also the guiding force in my early nursing school days who took me under her wing.

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