Working long hours is essential for many healthcare workers. Working a 12-hour shift—during the day or at night—can take a physical and mental toll on workers’ health, mood, communication skills, reaction time and ability to learn. The good news is, there are ways you can help your team managing long hours so they stay energized, healthy and motivated. Read on to discover how some creativity and employee appreciation gift ideas can help staff cope while keeping your practice running smoothly.
Show staff they matter
Medical staff face long hours in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment where, sometimes, lives are at stake. Healthcare workers can become unhappy quickly if they feel under-appreciated. Show staff they have an employer that cares with employee appreciation gifts like a bag filled with items to help them manage stress, including healthy snacks, an adult coloring book and a stress ball.
Give them a break
Night shift staff have a 28% higher risk of fatigue-related accidents and errors. When possible, allow for all staff members to get a 1-hour break during every 12-hour shift. Encourage staff to get fresh air, decompress and exercise. Offering designated napping areas and schedule staff to cover naps so workers can restore their energy, mood and decision-making ability.
Use food to fight fatigue
Food that medical staff eats before and during long hours or night shifts can affect energy levels, stamina and performance. Rather than reach for snacks that give temporary sugar boosts, encourage them to eat healthy options like:
- Fresh, raw salads
- Fresh and dried fruits
- High-protein meals
- Gluten-free bread
- Water and real fruit juice
Buddy them up
Because you care about your patients, you always want staff to be vigilant and motivated to provide the best care. Pairing employees with a buddy on long shifts, rather than having them working alone, can reduce stress, fatigue-related accidents and errors. Plus, it makes long shifts easier to get through.
Offer schedule continuity
Employees who work rotating shifts for extended periods of time are at higher risk for disease. Scheduling staff to avoid backward rotations from night to day shift can help you improve staff morale and efficiency, by lowering stress, preserving sleep patterns and reducing health risks.
Help your team take care
Ensuring your staff knows how much you appreciate them can make a long shift feel like short work. Try these employee appreciation gift ideas for a happier, healthier team.