Drastic Times Call for More Thoughtful Measures to Protect Employees from Burnout
Healthcare employers use systems to avoid employee burnout and protect employees from threats. Despite these systems, factors of late stress test the capacity of those protective measures. Hence, employers must adjust, take extra care, and increase resources. In so doing, they maintain support for employees during times of increased need.
Protective measures include:
physical and policy-based violence and harassment risk management,
mental wellness supports, and
distribution of work and resourcing.
We recommend that employers combat employee burnout and install safeguards from employee exposure to threats jointly with unions, employees across work areas, and cross-discipline management leadership teams. Collaborative approaches will result in:
- higher quality controls,
- across-the-board buy-in, and
- greater system integration.
Public policymakers and law enforcement must also step up to the plate. They must clearly and unreservedly condemn harassment and violence directed at healthcare heroes. Police must enforce and protect targetted employees and members of the public.
“A 2021 survey by advocacy group Doctors Manitoba found that 57 percent of physicians reported mistreatment from at least one patient in the previous month. Verbal abuse included racist and sexist attacks and being compared to a Nazi and accused of profiting from the pandemic. Other aggressive incidents included being spit on, vandalism, social media attacks, physical assault and death threats….The healthcare system belongs to us all. As a major cause of physician burnout, this crisis of incivility and abuse threatens the people who patients need to trust when their health is at stake. It affects anyone who is a patient, has ever been a patient or is hoping to become a patient of a family physician.”
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For information on how our firm can assist lead and facilitating risk assessment and risk mitigation, visit us at our labour relations and human resources firm’s homepage.