Publication Details

Almeida, S., Bowden, A., Bloomfield, J., Jose, B. & Wilson, V. (2020). Caring for the carers in a public health district: A wellbeing initiative to support healthcare professionals. Journal of Clinical Nursing, Online First


Abstract Aims and Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of the proactive organisational resource allocation in terms of a 6-week wellbeing initiative to support public healthcare professionals’ workplace engagement, wellbeing and job satisfaction. Background: Burnout of healthcare professionals can be a major cost to the Australian economy and public healthcare sector. According to the social exchange theory, when healthcare professionals perceive that their organisation proactively allocates resources to caring for its employees, then they are more likely to reciprocate and become more engaged in their work roles. Design: The study used a pre and post survey of healthcare professionals who participated in the wellbeing initiative. Methods: Between February and June 2019, 172 healthcare professionals were surveyed before and after a wellbeing initiative. The survey included questions on workplace engagement, workplace wellbeing, and job satisfaction. Paired t-tests were used to determine if the difference between before and after averages were significant. The TREND statement was utilised to ensure the quality reporting of this study. Results: The wellbeing initiative had a positive impact on the healthcare professionals involved in the initiative. Nursing staff benefitted the most from the wellbeing initiative while the full-time staff members and highly experienced demonstrated an increase in engagement. Conclusion: Wellbeing initiatives can be a targeted strategy to help alleviate burnout amongst healthcare professionals and build a mutually beneficial relationship between management and employees. Relevance to clinical practice: This study shows how implementing a staff wellbeing initiative increases workplace engagement, which benefits both the individual and the organisation. KEYWORDS self-care, stress, support, nurses, burnout, fatigue, job motivation, mindfulness, work satisfaction, psychological well-being What does this paper contribute to the wider global clinical community? • In order to promote a healthy workplace culture, public health organisations need to allocate funding proactively support employee wellbeing initiatives. • In accordance with the social exchange theory, this study provides an insight into how proactive organisational resource allocation to care for its employees can influence reciprocal response from its nursing staff resulting in enhanced engagement at work. • The ‘toolkit’ of wellbeing skills harnessed from the 6-week initiative can be easily incorporated into the daily routines and shift work schedules of healthcare professionals.



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