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Beating Clinician Burnout

News  |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   April 01, 2017

"It doesn't take too many folks to leave to easily pay for a wellness program. Certainly, that's more than our budget for just one person leaving," he says.

Linzer is speaking of HCMC's Office of Professional Worklife, a program that focuses on offering wellness services to improve the work lives of HCMC providers.

"Our task is to oversee the work lives of almost 800 providers here," says Sara Poplau, assistant director of the Office of Professional Worklife. "They engage with us in different ways. Every new provider that comes in gets a presentation from either myself or Dr. Linzer."

Poplau's office is in a busy area of the hospital, which allows for high visibility and easy access for providers.

"I will get some foot traffic from people who come by and say, 'I need help with this.' But then you talk to them and find out it's maybe this other thing that's causing stress," she says. "We can help connect them with someone who can advocate with them for changes or connect them with another department that had a similar challenge."

There is also a "reset room," a small, inviting space (there are flameless candles and a sound machine) where providers can go if they need some quiet time.

In addition to these types of programs, an organization must have policies, procedures, and protocols that create a healthy work environment where providers thrive.

In The Healthy Workplace Study published in 2015, Linzer and his fellow researchers identified three categories of effective interventions in regard to burnout: workflow redesign, communication improvement, and quality improvement projects.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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