Good communication eases healthcare workforce stress.it is the biggest challenges healthcare professionals face in their day-to-day working lives. There are numerous pressures on healthcare professionals from all different angles, including time management, managing documentation, and of course, patient care. Clearly, this is a high-stress job, but what can be done to reduce it even more? The small things. Small acts of kindness, a helping hand, or even just a little bit more communication can go a long way to easing that workload and stress. Thus the little things become the big things when it comes to reducing stress in the workplace. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the most impactful ways you can improve your communication in healthcare – whether that be at home with your family or friends, at work with your colleagues or patients, and also with your manager or other HR department staff.
Be Kind – With your Time and Words
As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. This is a choice you can make every single day that can have a huge impact. Being kind and courteous not only towards others but also to yourself can ease the pressure of the day-to-day. These small acts of kindness can be so impactful in the long run. For example, not rushing through your day and giving due time to all tasks. Giving yourself enough time to get everything done, not just what is urgent but also what is important to your job, is one way you can lessen your stress as well as that of your colleagues. Being kind with your words and not rushing, not just with your colleagues but also with patients, is another great way to help ease that stress. Being kind with your time can also go a long way. Not rushing to get through your day, but taking the time to have short conversations with colleagues or patients can be incredibly impactful. It may be difficult to fit them in, but they can really make a difference.
Assign a Wellbeing Coach or Mentor.
Healthcare workers often have a lot of people they report to. At the top of this list is often their manager or supervisor. Not only is it important for your manager to be aware of the challenges you are facing, but also how you are feeling about your job. If you feel uncomfortable or unable to communicate this with your manager, then consider assigning a well-being coach or mentor. A well-being coach or mentor is someone who can act almost like a confidante. They can help you navigate the best course of action for communicating your challenges and feel confident that they have been heard. Having the support of a well-being coach or mentor can help you feel more comfortable approaching your manager. It can also help ensure that if you don’t feel comfortable approaching your manager, you can still have support and an outlet to express your challenges and concerns.
Utilizing Technology to Communicate Better.
Many of us are glued to our phones or tablets. While technology can be used for many things, it can also be a big culprit in terms of reducing communication between colleagues. With Slack, Facebook Messenger, and other secure text messaging and video conferencing platforms like Hucu.ai, you have the ability to have quick conversations with your team members or even patients. This can be a great way to reduce stress and also increase productivity. For example, if you have a question about a patient’s care, you can quickly and easily Text Message someone on your team, securely in compliance with HIPAA. Using technology to communicate like this does come with risks as conversations are not always private, except if a healthcare provider uses HIPAA Compliant messaging with patients, their family, or other colleagues. But with the above in mind, it can definitely be a helpful and productive tool.
Make Meetings Shorter and More Productive.
Meetings, especially unproductive and overly long meetings, can be a huge stress factor for many professionals. As such, it is important to be mindful of how and when you schedule meetings. If you are the one who organizes the meetings, ensure that you have a purpose for it. Push yourself to think of ways to make the meeting shorter and more productive where possible. Having a clear agenda will help you to stay on track and also keep the meeting length to the minimum amount of time required. If you are attending meetings, be mindful of the time. Be respectful of other people’s time and if a meeting is taking longer than necessary, be mindful of the fact that your time is just as precious as theirs and that you have other responsibilities to attend to as well.
Healthcare professionals often experience a great deal of stress in their lives, and this is usually due in part to a lack of good communication. When nurses communicate poorly with patients, physicians communicate poorly with each other, and doctors communicate poorly with administrators, these individuals and their teams often find themselves working longer hours, making more errors, and suffering from more mental and physical health issues as a result. There are a number of ways in which one can improve communication in healthcare, whether in the workplace or at home. From being kind to one’s self and others to utilizing technology to making meetings shorter and more productive, these communication strategies can make all the difference.