“Improving Resiliency in Healthcare Employees” by Werneburg et al.

The article “Improving resiliency in healthcare employees” by Werneburg et al. (2018) examines the influence of a specific training program on increasing resiliency and improving health behaviors in healthcare employees. This article was published in the American Journal of Health Behavior in 2018. The research conducted by these authors involved 137 adults who participated in a 12-week training program called Stress Management and Resiliency Training Program (SMART).

SMART is an innovative program designed for enhancing resiliency among physicians and in patients with breast cancer. The data was collected at three stages: at the baseline, after the intervention, and three months after the program. The results showed significant improvements in resiliency, perceived stress, anxiety level, quality of life, and health behaviors. The researchers concluded that such worksite programs displayed efficacy in improving resiliency in healthcare employees.

Working in healthcare facilities exposes medical staff to stressful work environments on a regular basis. Stress often impacts health behaviors such as physical activity, nutritional habits, and sleep and can even affect mental health leading to burnout. Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from negative life events and withstand various stressors without losing one’s working efficiency. Improving the level of individual resiliency can lead to positive changes in perceived stress levels and anxiety, quality of life, and health behaviors.

There are different programs developed to address this problem. The goal of the program implemented in the research was to raise resiliency thresholds by shifting employees’ perceptions of what was considered stressful. The program elements fostered one’s ability to become aware of personal reactive stress responses and provided better alternatives; they also helped to reduce the judgment of thoughts and decrease mind wandering. Weekly sessions included the review of the previous week’s actions and the implementation of learned strategies into professional activity, and then the discussion of the next resiliency topic and related action steps.

The SMART program proved to be an effective intervention. According to the study results, it caused “significant improvement (p ≤.001) in resiliency scores from pre-program participation (mean = 65.3) to post-program assessment (mean 76.1) and additional improvements at 3-month follow-up” (Werneburg et al., 2018, p. 45). In general, such improvements facilitate the capacity of healthcare workers to perform under adverse circumstances; therefore, the utilization of such a program can benefit medical organizations by fostering the quality of medical staff functioning. In my opinion, the Human Resource department should regularly implement similar measures to increase employees’ resiliency.

Future health care service delivery can be enhanced with strategies aimed at developing resiliency. At a personal level, medical workers can achieve a better understanding of psychological processes regarding their professional activities and acquire useful instruments for managing stressful events and responses to adverse circumstances. Effective strategies for maintaining one’s mental health in these conditions will not only promote their well-being but allow them to feel more confident in their abilities as medical professionals. From this article, I learned that there were practical methods of influencing my level of resiliency that could be applied in the workplace. Furthermore, the level of stress could be decreased by developing a conscious awareness of my responses and reducing unnecessary rumination.

The SMART program described in the research demonstrates a considering potential for implementing preventive measures in the workplace and influencing existing stress and burnout levels in healthcare workers. The results of this study highlight the actual possibility for organizational improvement from the Human Resource department standpoint. The changes discussed in the article can be useful in any medical facility leading to an overall improvement of medical treatment. Therefore, such programs should be developed and implemented throughout the healthcare industry.

Reference

Werneburg, B. L., Jenkins, S. M., Friend, J. L., Berkland, B. E., Clark, M. M., Rosedahl, J. K., … Sood, A. (2018). Improving resiliency in healthcare employees. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(1), 39-50. Web.