What is the Importance of Positive Nursing Workplace Environment?
A positive work environment is vital for nursing practice, care and safety of patients and public. A poor work environment not only affects the performances of nurses, but also reduces their competency level.
Workplace environment plays a significant role in retaining and boosting efficiency level of the nursing workforce in any health care facility. The best working atmosphere is vital for nurses and caregivers because they provide direct care to patients from birth to death. However, if the work conditions are not conducive to their practice, the patients suffer and receive inadequate healthcare and treatment. Such environment also increases the chances for medical errors.
Workplace Environment Effects
The working condition inside a facility is vital for the well-being of nurses and their competent performance, but poor work atmosphere may result in a variety of health and practice-related problems. Among others, it:
- Creates and increases work and physical stress, fatigue, and mental trauma
- Gives physical injuries and poor health
- Exposes to communicable, infectious, and contagious diseases
- Increases monotony, emotional exhaustion, solitude, and venality
- Effects quality of medical and patient care, and efficiency level of nurses
- Increases work dissatisfaction
- Speeds up attrition of nurses
Factors Responsible for Poor Work Environment
The issues responsible for poor work atmosphere in hospitals, long-term care facilities, intensive care units, outpatient centres, and health clinics include:
- Favouritism, discriminations, and indifferent behavior of management and lack of leadership
- Inter-professional conflicts, dissatisfaction, conflicts and disagreements with physicians, nursing staff, senior nurses, supervisors, peers, and co-workers
- Nursing shortage and lack of sufficient workforce due to profit maximization and cost-cutting by the organizers and owners
- Excessive workload
- Lack of proper training
- Low salary, perks & benefits
- Lack of employee recognition, praises, and awards
- Intimate advances by doctors, patients, and co-workers
- Long hour shifts and family commitments
- Excessive interference by the management and families
These causes are also primary reasons for the greater attrition level of nurse workforce in facilities and their leaving of jobs for satisfactory employments elsewhere. If the situation is not improved in the near future, and if immediate remedial measures are not taken immediately, the worst sufferers will be patients because they will not receive competent care and treatments.
The salary and benefits for all level nurses are meagre compared to their workload, physical exertion, and energy they put in performing their nursing duties. Therefore, it is necessary to hike the salaries of all the nurses, be it any designation, to a respectable level.Their work environment must also be improved to lessen insecurity feelings, stress, and fatigue among nurses, and, if necessary, additional nurses must be employed by the employers to reduce the workload on the working nurses. They should also get flexible working hours for meeting their family commitments, overcoming emotional exhaustion, and feelings of loneliness.
Health care facilities must also implement adequate safety measures to prevent exposure and spread of infectious and contagious diseases among patients, public, and nurses. The management must be sympathetic to grievances of nurses and try to redress them. Nurses must be given sufficient training for their own safety from workplace injuries because they can get injured when they lift patients or transfer clients from bed to a wheelchair or stretcher. The hospitals must also lay down strict rules to stop misbehaving, intimate advances, bullying, and unruly behaviour of patients and families against nurses and caregivers. The governments should also come forward and pass legislation that are beneficial to nursing career.
The poor work atmosphere in facilities and health clinics have also resulted in higher attrition of nurses from these facilities because they are finding it difficult to work in such environment. If proper steps are not introduced to improve the work environment in the facilities, the patient care and safety of the public will be greatly hampered, and nurses will continue to leave their jobs for green pastures.
About the Author
Frank Ross specializes in writing articles for diverse health care topics and nursing education. The nursing students and professionals, who desire to build their career in the nursing field or searching better job opportunities can go through these articles and expand their knowledge. His articles on Topregisterednurse.com can provide valuable and detailed information on registered nurse careers, salary, training, and exams, in addition to other relevant information.