Increase Joy in Your Facility with Travel Nurse Staffing
No joke, April is National Humor Month. Humor plays an essential role in our overall health. From reducing stress to preventing burnout, when added to the culture of an emergency room or hospital floor, humor can be the best medicine for your staff and your patients. The positive effects can be seen in patient outcomes and the overall reputation of your hospital’s brand. Travel nurse staffing allows you to meet and work with a variety of different healthcare professionals, all with their own unique personalities and traits that can bring joy and laughter into your facility!
Keep in mind, it is important to use humor intelligently and respectfully, but when used strategically, it can provide an array of positive PR moments for your organization. On top of the mental and physical health benefits, it can have for your patients. Here are five ways to add humor to your hospital culture with travel nurse staffing.
Starts from the top down
The heart of any organization is the staff, but the culture is set by the administration. The goal of any hospital is to have top-notch patient care and patient outcomes. One way to achieve this goal is to have a present CEO or president who can make his or her staff feel comfortable to be their authentic selves with their patients. It is important to have regular staff meetings or just to walk around the floor and interact with the nursing staff, doctors, and patients.
While it is the job of the lead hospital administrator to make sure everything is running smoothly which often requires a “no-joke” mentality, finding time to appropriately laugh with your staff can make all the difference. The best way to do this is to find ways to laugh at yourself. In a controlled environment with the staff, patients (especially young patients), or both, let yourself be the butt of the joke. This can organically turn into a great PR moment for your organization.
Organize events around holidays
One easy way to add humor and fun to your organization is to empower your nursing staff to organize events around holidays. Whether it is wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, dressing up like Santa or his elves for Christmas, or organizing an Easter egg hunt, holiday-themed activities are all but guaranteed to add laughter and boost morale to your facility. Have different floors, departments, shifts, etc. rotate ownership of the holiday events and even incorporate friendly competitions.
This will boost engagement and provide added-value to their daily tasks. Make sure to be inclusive with all cultures and religions. When a hospital excels in their diversity and inclusion practices, it makes patients and staff of different backgrounds feel more comfortable and welcome. You can even celebrate non-traditional holidays. As seen on National Day Calendar, every day is a new holiday!
Make bedside manner a priority
A hospital may not be a hotel, but it is rated based on similar parameters including the customer experience. As a top healthcare staffing agency, MedPro takes pride in training each of our prospective travel nurses, medical technologists, physical therapists, etc. with everything they need to be successful in the workplace. This includes how to have excellent bedside manner.
As a healthcare facility, it is important to make this practice a priority for each of your staff.
Your nurses don’t need to be stand-up comedians by any stretch, but making connections with their patients will, in turn, improve their patient outcomes and overall experience.
No one looks forward to spending time in a hospital, especially as a patient, but if we can do everything we can to make their stay feel like a positive experience, they will feel less stressed and/or anxious. Encourage your staff to practice their bedside techniques with each other so they can share tips, tricks, and maybe some jokes!
Add “humor therapy” to the care plan
Humor therapy uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing. Anyone can use humor therapy, either preventively or as a treatment for any disease. According to the University of Michigan College of Medicine “Humor therapy helps reduce the negative effects of feeling unhealthy, out of control, afraid, or helpless, which are common problems for those with cancer or chronic diseases.”
Also, because it is inexpensive, risk-free, and readily available, there is little reason not to try practicing humor therapy. This should obviously never replace traditional treatments, but can be used in conjunction with any other method.
How humor therapy is carried out is entirely up to the caregiver or organization. It can be as simple as dressing up like a clown to cheer up the sick children or investing in a “humor cart” as part of a strategic or intentional humor therapy plan.
Ask the kids
The best arbiters of what is considered funny are often young people. From knowing the hottest trends or top new dance moves, look no further than pediatrics to learn all of the pedia-tricks. It is never easy to see a child in a hospital and they are usually the ones who can use the laughter the most.
You can organize a fun focus group with all the kids in your wing and empower them to come up with funny ways to entertain the other patients and staff. Getting the kids involved with coming up with jokes can take their minds off their own ailments or situation.
The quality of patient care is often determined by how the patient feels mentally on top of how they feel physically. Empower the kids the set up a fashion show, talent show, or any other friendly competition-based activity allowing them to learn the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and above all else, humor.
Looking for new “humor therapists?”
Need travel nurses to join your team? Contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing! We work with our clients to find and place highly qualified travel nurses who match with your hospital culture and job qualifications. To learn more, contact one of our experienced recruiters today!