Stress is a concern in nearly every job, but it can be especially prevalent in healthcare, with one-third of the doctors and nurses in Canada showing symptoms of burnout and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. With so many healthcare workers struggling to care for patients and themselves, knowing how to manage stress in the workplace can help staff members give the proper time and attention to every person they treat.
We offer ideas to help you take care of your staff—and remind them to take care of themselves.
Create a serenity room
When healthcare staff need a break, they often need more than just a break room. Serenity rooms are a haven for employees. These rooms feature:
- Soft music
- Comfortable furniture
- Dim lighting
- Calming colours
- Food and beverages
Some healthcare organizations also include items like potted plants or a small garden, which offers staff members a mental break by reminding them of the world outside.
Talk it out
Patient care—especially when tending for the very ill or dying—is so stressful it can lead to mental health concerns, including post-traumatic stress. Giving employees someone to talk to, whether a spiritual care specialist, a peer or a mental health professional, can help staff members better handle mental fatigue.
Teach them to breathe
When you’re learning how sometimes stress reduction can be as simple as reminding someone to take the time to stop, take a deep breath and relax. You can also teach them a mindfulness breathing technique to encourage them to slow down if only for a few minutes:
- Choose a quiet spot to sit.
- Close your eyes.
- Take normal, regular breaths.
- Focus on the feeling of breathing, like the air entering and exiting your nose or the feel of your chest rising and falling.
- Release any outside thoughts for 5-20 minutes and continue to breathe.
- Once you’re done, take a moment to enjoy the feeling.
Craft a class or activity
Offering classes or activities at your healthcare office can encourage staff to relax and decompress, both of which will help bring stress levels down. Some fun ideas could include: