What matters most to you?
Is it compensation? Maybe you’re most interested in clinical excellence? Perhaps it’s patient outcomes?
All play a role in your ability to build a career that is as long-lasting as it is rewarding–but they might not be as important as the hospital community in which you work.
That’s right, where you work matters at least as much as how much you make, how well you perform, and whether or not patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
If this sounds far-fetched, consider the study conducted by Press Ganey on the influence of nurses’ work environments on patients, payments, and nurses themselves.
It found that work environment–the hospital community in which the nurses worked–played the largest role in overall job satisfaction.
And the study included employees and outcome data from 2,000 hospitals across the country.
Yes, the hospital community in which you spend eight, 10, 12 or more hours a day for days on end plays a big role in determining whether or not you are a shining star throughout your career or one that eventually burns out.
Obviously you want to work in a healthy hospital environment. Here are six key characteristics of a healthy hospital community:
Communication is critically important. When it’s effectively executed at an organizational, everyone is aware of the hospital’s values, goals, and challenges.
On the unit level, effective communication is every bit as important as clinical outcomes. In fact, effective communication can improve clinical outcomes.
Collaboration–true collaboration in which relationships are treated as genuine partnerships–allows physicians to bond, grow professionally, and improve outcomes for patients.
It ensures that no one feels as if they are an island, isolated from the rest of team, left to fend for her- or himself.
Is there anything worse for a physician than working in an environment where decisive decisions are the exception rather than the rule?
No there is not.
Effective decision making means that decisions are made collaboratively, with an understanding about how they will affect those at every level of the organization. They are clearly communicated. And they are carried out with consistency.
Any physician who has ever worked on an understaffed unit knows how important appropriate staffing is to the unit’s ability to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients without putting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of hospital staff in jeopardy.
Inadequate staffing often leads to unnecessary stress, which can lead to physician burnout.
Everyone wants to be recognized for the contributions she or he makes to the organization. In fact, research has shown that being recognized for a job well done could be the difference between job satisfaction and becoming disgruntled.
You may not want to publicly acknowledge the desire for recognition, and that’s perfectly fine. But internally, it’s important to be aware of the important role authentic recognition plays in keeping you satisfied at work–and then finding a hospital community that demonstrates its appreciation for its employees.
The relationship between effective, authentic leadership and a healthcare system’s ability to provide safe and effective care has been well-documented.
It also matters to you.
Lack of leadership creates an environment that doesn’t value communication or true collaboration. You may find yourself waiting for important decisions to be made. You may discover that a lack of adequate staffing and a dearth of recognition have you on the verge of burning out.
At that point, your compensation will no longer matter, clinical excellence won’t be achievable and patient outcomes will suffer–and so will your career.
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