The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a significant health pandemic. This pandemic is impacting healthcare and stressing employees to their limits. During this time of crisis, healthcare leaders must have the experience, bravery, courage, and honor to lead clinicians during this emergency. Leading healthcare organizations during this crisis is a tremendous challenge for those in healthcare leadership roles. Here are a few ways that healthcare leaders can effectively lead medical units during this challenging time in our history.
Let Clinicians Know They Are Valued
Let your staff realize that they are valued part of a team that is working together during the pandemic. Leaders need to communicate best practices, manage expectations, clarify work hours, provide resources, and provide personal protective equipment. Leaders must monitor clinician’s wellness and address concerns related to their safety.
Healthcare leaders need to aim for work schedules that enable adequate sleep for hospital-based clinicians who work long and multiple shifts. Leaders must provide necessary provisions such as access to water, healthy snacks, chargers for phones, and toiletries during work hours. It falls to leaders to designate times for breaks, eating, and the taking of medications to ensure their staff stays healthy during the crisis.
A reduction of noncritical work may encourage mental well-being. Measures may include rescheduling preventative and routine patient follow-up visits and eliminating nonessential administrative tasks. A healthcare leader can reduce anxiety by providing updated information, well-defined protocols, and expectations through e-mails, tweets, and automated calls.
A Supportive Work Culture
As we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic, supportive work culture is essential for maintaining resilience. Interventions should include wellness committees, employee assistance programs, and the appointing of wellness champions. Surveys can assist healthcare leaders in locating areas of fear and stress and help inform leaders of areas requiring their attention. It is wise to develop back up plans, cross-training, and leadership rotation to avoid leader burnout.
Focus on Small Things
As a leader in healthcare, your focus is likely to be on vision, strategy, and execution. During a time of crisis, you must become a small thinker. You need to stress the importance of little things such as washing hands, staying at home, sanitizing, and preparedness. Although these details may be small compared to the big picture issues you typically handle, they are the only things during a significant crisis.
Offer Compassion and Empathy
Healthcare workers have a legitimate fear of acquiring COVID-19 and passing it along to their family members, friends, and colleagues. Now is a time when leadership in clinics, hospitals, and healthcare systems can step up and help. Leadership has an opportunity to show compassion and empathy and acknowledge the fears of those clinicians who are enduring the worst of this crisis.
If you are seeking workforce assistance during this crisis, consider Power Personnel. The professionals at Power Personnel can assist you with a workforce solution for your healthcare organization.