7 Ps of Nurse Engagement
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By: Dr. AK Khandelwal
Nurses are critical to the delivery of efficient & effective healthcare in hospitals. Major studies have demonstrated the association of nurse staffing and patient outcomes, including lengths-of-stay, mortality, and hospital acquired infections. Literature mentions that engagement of nurses significantly improves a healthcare organisation's bottom line by improving its prevention of hospital acquired adverse events and reduced length of stay. Private healthcare is passing through a very difficult time with increasing competition and decreasing payments by both private & government insurance entities. Thus, a strategy like engagement of nurses can help healthcare organisations to survive in the present environment.
What is engagement?
It is defined as the level of commitment nursing employees have toward their organisation and its goals.
Levels of engagementCognitive engagement: If a nurse considers her work as meaningful or not and whether the appropriate tools are available to complete the work. Emotional engagement: When a nurse develops a connection that results in a commitment from her/him by providing a personal sense of beliefs, pride, and knowledge to the organisation. Behavioral engagement: When a nurses' performance increases as a result of her or his emotional and cognitive engagement.
Advantage of nurse engagement
Nurse engagement is critical to any healthcare organisation that aims to provide affordable & quality healthcare. Studies say that engagement of employees is very important for effective utilisation of human resources and smooth running of the organisation. Some of the advantages of nurse engagement on the hospital industry are mentioned in the figure.
Signs of disengaged nurses
Researchers mention that disengagement is the withdrawal of physical, cognitive, and emotional absence from work roles to protect oneself from threat. Disengaged nurses do the least amount of work, resist change, are negative, and see the work as tedious. Complaining: Disengaged nurses always complain; nothing is good for them in the organisation. Making excuses: Disengaged nurses never take responsibilities for their actions and always find an excuse. Lack of enthusiasm: Disengaged nurses will not take any initiative on their own. Gossip: Disengaged nurses destroy morale and team culture and creates cliques within healthcare organisation. Irresponsible: Disengaged nurses do not come in time, break their promises and always miss their deadlines. Distracted: Disengaged nurses always distracted and they do not focus on their job. No Growth: Disengaged nurses have no motivation and never invest in their growth by acquiring new knowledge and skill. Non-co-operative: Disengaged nurses will rarely co-operate with other nurses, paramedics and doctors. Lying: Disengaged nurses often lie about their assignments done and their observation. Know-it-all attitude: Disengaged nurses often consider themselves above all and demonstrate that they know everything and do not consult others even when it is very critical. Mood swings: Nurses who are disengaged tend to have more mood swings than others. They prefer to just go with their feelings, rather than have a rationale and work ethic behind their actions.
Strategies for engagement
Leaders in healthcare organisations should maximise employee engagement by implementing strategies to increase and maintain engagement. Strategies to implement engagement in the workplace require long-term leadership commitment.
Nursing is a fundamental driver of both outcomes and costs in most healthcare organisations. Nurse engagement is critical to the patient experience, clinical quality, and patient outcomes. Leader of a healthcare organisation should ensure engagement of nurses to survive in current competitive market.