Is Your Medical Staff Overworked?

June 20th, 2014

Your teams work hard on a daily basis and while they receive time off during their monthly schedules and even downtime sometimes during their shifts, they may be overworked. Do you know how to spot a team member that is overworked? Catching this problem before it becomes something serious is critical to the overall success of your team. Not only does this show your care and concern for the team but it will help the entire facility work more efficiently when each team member is performing at their peak and not tired or overloaded.

How to Determine Overwhelmed Staff

It may seem like a simple task: to see who is frazzled on your teams and give them some time off. After all, you can look at people and see if they are overworked, right? It is not necessarily easy to see those who need a break and those in the medical field are usually adept at hiding weakness as their job requires great amounts of strength and personal fortitude. Here are some tell-tale signs your staff may be overworked:

  1. They forget small things. While everyone can be forgetful at times, the staff member who is constantly forgetting to sign a document or clean a medical device may not be completely aware of their surroundings due to their mind racing in various directions. This can be caused by being pulled in too many directions or having tasks that cannot be completed and they are causing a distraction.
  2. They are short tempered. In stressful times, this is common within teams. Everyone begins to feel the strain but after the crisis is cared for, the team members will take a deep breath and return to their professional attitudes and workplace friendliness. The problem occurs when team members are constantly short with others and give the appearance of rudeness.
  3. They make mistakes. Because the medical field is fluid and things are constantly moving, mistakes are made as human error is always present. A team member who is overworked will make small mistakes and big mistakes, mistakes they shouldn’t be making at this point in their careers.
  4. They are sick. When those on your team are constantly feeling ill or leaving early for doctor’s appointments, you may have a staff member who is overworked. This can affect their health in a negative way and many times it will manifest in a variety of illnesses.

Medical staff members are accustomed to high stress and expected levels of perfection but this can be draining. If your team doesn’t take off the necessary time for vacation and personal days, they may be overworked or if you are constantly short-staffed, they may be feeling the overload. Give them some time off or hire more people to lighten their load. Consider using a staffing firm to help with the workload until you can financially hire them on full-time or until you have established a true need for their employment.

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