If you’ve ever personally worked in healthcare, or if someone in your family has, you know how challenging it can be. I mean, you know that this year I decided to take a break from nursing partly because of those challenges. And don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of rewarding aspects to it but it can be a tough job. Often, working in healthcare is a truly selfless act. You are constantly asked to put your needs and wants aside and care for others. As an RN, this is something I’ve realized, and I think it’s something that is widely accepted among other nurses and HCP’s in general. I feel like in the beginning, you kind of accept that this is just “part of the job” but as the years go by, you start to realize that in order for you to truly take care of others to the best of your ability, you have to be taken care of was well!
You may know that I’ve partnered with J&J over the last year, and one thing in particular is very evident: they truly care about the people they are serving whether it’s their employees, health care professionals, or their consumers. They’ve done a lot of research on nurse and physician burn out, and how to combat it (there is also a podcast and blog on that topic). That being said, burnout is one of the main reasons there is a healthcare shortage. That’s why J&J is really committed to addressing this issue and giving HCP’s the care and attention they need. I for one am super grateful for this as nurses I have worked with feel it, and you know that it is part of the reason I stepped away from the bedside. So I appreciate that it is being acknowledged as a serious problem. J&J knows that they are not the only solution to this problem, but as the world’s largest diversified health company, they are challenging themselves to find ways to address the HCP burnout and (nursing) shortage, specifically RNs, midwives and community health workers. Today Johnson & Johnson is announcing that they will be committing $250 million to support one million nurses, midwives, and community health workers by 2030 and improve the quality of care for 100 million patients.
This funding will go towards various initiatives that support frontline health workers through The Center for Health Worker Innovation, a virtual center that J&J developed after over a year of consulting and research towards solutions to these issues. They know that even the despite the funding and most innovative plans, in order to be successful, those on the frontline have to be better trained and equipped.The center will focus on a set of five priorities–through their findings, these are all things J&J believes that any individual working in healthcare needs in order to thrive on the job. You can read more about each individual priority in their full article.
As a nurse, I can see how all of these are integral. Personally, I thought my hospital did a great job with training and education, and respect and recognition. As an ICU nurse, we had a lot of autonomy and for the most part, I would say that at least on my unit, the nurses felt respected by the other NPs, PAs, and MDs. I had also been very lucky with my nurse managers, as they are people who I felt truly cared about the nurses on their floor. However, I do think that well-being and resilience, and connection and integration were lacking to some extent, but they are crucial to the well-being of nurses (and really anyone in healthcare). I have only worked in an ICU as a nurse, so I can’t speak to other specialties but there are a lot of stressful situations working in an ICU. Patients code somewhat frequently, drips need to be titrated consistently, families are very sensitive given their loved one’s condition. It’s not just the physical care that you are giving patients, but the emotional stress that is involved is on another level. Some patient’s cases are so devastating that it is emotionally gut-wrenching. I know that may sound dramatic, but if you’ve ever worked in an ICU, then you know. And while I do think that nurses in general have a special bond and support each other, unfortunately there can be nurse bullying which doesn’t help with the connection you feel with other nurses, or the integration on your unit.
As I’ve said before, I feel very proud to be able to work with a company like J&J that truly cares about these issues. They are the ones that need to be addressed, and while they aren’t going away anytime soon, the acknowledgment that they are there and the initial steps to address them are the first steps. I encourage y’all to check out the full article and read more about each priority. Seeing what you feel like you’re lacking in your job from the priorities, may help you see what is affecting you the most. Being able to identify where you need help is the first step!
Thank you to Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post and for always looking for opportunities to support nurses and those in health care. As always, all opinions are my own.