The Other Unsung Heroes

Author: Chris Falls, C2 Healthcare

Nurses account for 30% of hospital staff, the largest group. Naturally, and rightfully so, the predominant media focus has been on these front line workers responsible for direct patient care.

However, this is not the only critical group impacted by a year-long epidemic. While perhaps not literally front-line, the ripple-effect stress on Radiology Technicians, Food Service Workers, Environmental Service Workers, and technical and support staff has had significant impact as well. Add to this a higher employment vulnerability to declining patient populations and we have an employee experience with compounded safety and financial stress. Perhaps appropriate recognition for this group is overdue.

While nothing can replace the direct expression of gratitude on a personal level, one effective indirect method we are seeing hospital managers use to combat burnout successfully is to solicit participation on a broader problem-solving committee. By placing confidence in these staff members to identify and resolve an operational constraint in the department or hospital, managers not only demonstrate trust and appreciation for what these individuals have to offer, but also build a sense of ownership and self-worth around an ability to initiate a positive outcome on their environment. The idea isn’t to form a committee just to form a committee. It’s to appreciate and re-engage these unsung heroes in a way that sustains their leadership by allowing them to internalize the benefit of a tangible positive outcome they created.

While nursing deserves our heartfelt appreciation, we wanted to extend an idea for supplemental support for staff that may be overlooked. They need and deserve recognition as well, for the benefit of everyone.

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