Addressing nursing retention with healthcare design
You have a nursing retention problem. This can be fixed.
Earlier this year Endeal posted an interesting article on the state of nursing retention in our country. Challenges in the Nursing Area – Find a Solution includes the following sobering statistics:
Median age is 54 years
10.7% of working RNs are 60+
10.6% are younger than 30
Average day shift patient ratio 1:6
Average night shift patient ration 1:7
Day shift – average walking distance is between 2.4 miles and 3.4 miles for a 10-hour shift
Night shift – average walking distance is between 1.3 miles and 3.3 miles for a 10-hour shift
Hospital acquired infections
Changing technology, including paper charting to electronic patient records
Varied work areas
As you can see there is an aging workforce adapting to changing technology and working long shifts in a grueling and high stress environment. What is the state of our nursing workforce? It’s sliding toward a potential disaster — Nursing retention is at an all-time low: turn over is above 20%. So a vicious cycle results. There is a high workload for nurses which leads to stress, burnout and job dissatisfaction. This leads to a high turnover rate which leads to a nursing shortage. Which leads to a high workload for the remaining nurses.
Obviously this creates problems for those of you in hospital administration. Your nursing staff is the “face” of your facility. They are your “brand” and impact patient satisfaction, safety, infection rates and more. So you have a big problem on your hands.
How can medical furnishings help you avert this potential crisis:
Infection Control: the proper healthcare fabrics can slow the spread of germs. The materials your seating is constructed from can as well. Well designed patient and visitor seating is easier to clean.
Ergonomically correct task seating: properly designed task seating and stools lessen the physical stress on your nursing staff. Especially for those with more years on the job.
Ergonomically correct workstations: adjustable-height fixed and mobile work stations also reduce physical stress and cut down on trips back and forth between treatment areas and nursing stations. The same goes for monitors.
Intelligent interior design: thoughtful design considers how your staff works and makes it easy for them to be as efficient and effective as possible.
The correct accessories: pleasing artwork and foliage improve the mental state of both your staff and your patients.