Help hospital employees alleviate holiday stress

No one wants to be in the hospital over the holidays--and that generally includes healthcare providers as well as patients.

It's a stressful time of year to be a healthcare provider, so hospitals need to ensure nurses and others who have to work over the holidays feel supported and treated fairly, according to an article published by Becker's Hospital Review.

Giving nurses the freedom to create their own holiday schedules can help, according to the article. Staggered schedules maintained transparently on an electronic system also are a good idea. Another strategy is to offer incentives to those who volunteer to work on the holidays, such as points for a system like a credit card reward program.

Hospitals also can try to make working on the holiday--and being hospitalized--fun. Holiday decorations, meals and greetings can make the environment more enjoyable for staff, patients and families alike, as FierceHealthcare previously reported.

No matter how scheduling is handled, there are going to be fewer people on hand over the holidays. This can lead to additional pressure for those on duty, the Pennsylvania Medical Society noted in a recent announcement. Medical professionals also are stressed by trying to balance their professional and family obligations, the society said.

As AP Staffing noted in an article, hospital leaders must think about ways to give people time to relax or de-stress after high-stress periods of their shifts. They also must make staff aware that they'll need to be more tolerant and patient when dealing with one another during the holidays.

Hospitals will make their staff happier if they plan ahead and make sure everyone has a fair chance to take a break with paid leave over the holidays, according to the announcement. The holiday roster needs to be fair and balanced in terms of the skills that must be on shift at any given time.

AP Staffing also notes that asking people what they're prepared to do over the holiday season can foster plenty of volunteers, even for the shifts on the prime holidays themselves.

To learn more:
- here's the Becker's article
- see the Medical Society announcement
- read the AP Staffing article