3 questions front-line workers wish hospital executives would ask

Hospital and health system workers have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since much less was known about the virus and its effects. Years later, as they continue to serve patients and experience staffing challenges, they have a lot on their minds, including questions they want executives to ask them about longevity in healthcare and their well-being.    

To gain insight into front-line workers' top concerns, Becker's asked them to provide one question they want executives to ask them right now and share why it is a pressing question. Below are their responses, in alphabetical order. 

Donia Cervantes. Laboratory assistant and phlebotomist at Sonoma (Calif.) Valley Hospital.

Question: What deep in your core drives you to stay in the medical field?

Why this question is important: All of our initial answers may vary as to the reason we started, some being wanting to help people, financial stability, it's what my parents did, etc.

However, 15 years down the line, what keeps you here? After you have seen it all — life, death, every bodily fluid, limb and crevice — why are you still here and continue to do so daily?

I believe this question may reignite some of us that are just going through the motions and for others allow us to see a side we may not have known otherwise. 

Whitney Freel. BSN, RN. Charge nurse at Stormont Vail Health (Topeka, Kan.).

Question: Why do you stay (at the bedside, at your unit, and at the organization)?

Why this question is important: I think this is an important question to be asked because the last couple of years have been rough in the medical field and people have left, so I think hospital leaders would gain a lot by digging deep into why we're staying. I believe starting with a basic question of, "Why do you choose the position that you're in? Why do you continue to stay where you're at?" would help our leaders find out what our passion is still for medicine after a hard couple of years and what we find joy in. Using this question to have leaders try to find out more about us could also help spark enhanced happiness around working in healthcare, which means we can bring even more joy back to our patients.

Chloe Reynolds. Nurse manager of a stepdown unit in the North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital at UNC Health Rex (Raleigh).

Question: How do you achieve work-life balance and what are some stress reduction techniques that you use?

Why this question is important: Our organization is always speaking to our work-life balance, stress reduction, well-being of teammates and such. 


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