Sometimes all it takes is a rough week or two at the clinic, and the temptation for a healthcare professional to leave all troubles behind is too hard to resist. It's very common and understandable for employees to ponder a job change, and there does come a time when leaving a position, or even the medical profession altogether, is the right thing to do. But what if the work-related frustrations are commonplace, and there is a strong likelihood that similar problems will occur in another position?
The truth is, sometimes it's more productive to try and address common workplace issues before deciding it's time to move on. Why not tackle those problems now? Below are five examples of common job complaints from a variety of healthcare professionals, along with suggestions on how to make improvements before deciding to throw in the surgical towel on what could be a salvageable position.
1. Toxic relationship with a manager. Nobody wants to go through each workday anticipating criticism or a cold shoulder every time the boss walks into the room. For example, a Nursing Assistant who struggles to effectively communicate with a manager may eventually dread the workday. In this scenario, the CNA might greatly benefit from learning and adopting conflict resolution tactics to develop the skills that will make it easier to find common ground with a supervisor. At an appropriate time, it might be best for the employee to initiate an open, non-confrontational dialog about specific problems or concerns. Being prepared to offer possible solutions at the meeting will help the nurse convey a sincere desire to contribute to a positive outcome. Ideally, with the right approach and a receptive manager, it will be possible to find a viable and lasting resolution both parties can embrace.
2. Trapped in a negative attitude. When repetition and longevity mix in a job, little things can get on the last nerve of anyone and become the trigger for negativity in the workplace.A Licensed Practical Nurse in this rut can proactively work toward a positive change in attitude. He or she could, for example, commit to starting every work morning as though it's the first day on the job and resolve to approach each contact as someone from whom he or she can learn. Perceptions about the job are bound to change for the LPN who takes this approach and works to develop a healthy sense of humor about the minor imperfections that can accompany any nursing job.
3. The fun is missing. When every day at work becomes all business, and the joy of interacting playfully with patients and medical staff disappears, boredom can set in for any employee. But there is hope. Medical Assistants, for instance, could remedy the daily doldrums by getting to know their coworkers better. They could organize a team lunch or happy hour, or develop an engaging contest, such as "most creative scrubs cap" or "most hospital miles walked in a week," to help foster a positive work atmosphere. Sometimes, getting to know coworkers away from a work setting can help colleagues establish rapport that will translate more naturally into having fun at work.
4.Skills are being underutilized. Workers who know they can make a larger contribution will have a strong desire to take on more responsibility and may grow restless without the opportunity to do so.A Medical Equipment Preparer, such as a Sterile Processing Technician, withunderutilized management expertise, for example, may have a desire to oversee the department and supervise other technicians. If this leadership opportunity doesn't appear naturally, it may help the technician to provide a detailed list of skills to a boss or have a conversation about professional aspirations. The effort could result in a promotion or even a lateral move within the organization that proves to be a better fit for the technician.
5. Lack of advancement after time. An employee with underdeveloped skills could spend more time than desired waiting for the chance to take on new responsibilities. But this individual shouldn't be afraid of taking initiative. For example, a Medical Technologist interested in training other lab workers on testing procedures could brush up on public speaking skills or study a new procedure not yet practiced in the lab to demonstrate readiness for more responsibilities. A supervisor may also respond favorably to requests for coaching or feedback, and be more inclined to reward the technologist's demonstrated commitment to advancing in the organization.
Healthcare professionals experiencing problems at work may be too overwhelmed to believe that issues of concern can be resolved. Breaking down complaints and concerns into a list will help workers determine the most important issues to address. In many situations, both the employer and the employee benefit when a disgruntled worker makes a good faith effort to improve the work environment and stay on the job. Not only will the employee gain new workplace tools and mature professionally, the employer saves time and costs related to hiring and training someone new for the position. If, however, efforts to improve undesirable work conditions are unsuccessful, it may be best for an individual to start sending out resumes and making plans to move on.
Whether or not you're a healthcare professional, what actions have you taken to improve a workplace situation? What tips for success can you share?