Ochsner Health System
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on Ochsner Health System, an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.
Ochsner Health System is building a healthier tomorrow with smarter care today. Not only does the organization take this approach with patients, but it also places heavy emphasis on healing its own healers.
Partnering with ANA’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) in 2017, Ochsner wanted to shift its nursing culture to empower nurses to take care of their own health. The Chief Executive Nursing Council, made up of the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) from each of the system’s 15 hospital campuses, developed a Care for the Caregiver initiative that perfectly aligns with HNHN.
The council selected one “campus champion” at each hospital campus to lead the initiative. Those individuals collaborate with CNOs to develop events and initiatives that encourage nurse well-being and help spread the word across their individual hospitals. Ochsner promotes the initiative through the health system’s:
- Care for the Caregiver website that shares health resources and self-care activities
- Self-care measures, which are incorporated into meetings
- Training and education for campus champions, nurse leaders, and staff members on holistic self-care, stress management, and nurse well-being topics
- Care for the Caregiver Menu of Supportive Resources that provides a systemwide employee guide to health and well-being resources
Encouraging Nurse Well-Being at System and Campus Levels
Individual campuses spearhead their own self-care programs and opportunities with nurses. For example, one campus has a Heal the Healer Day every year during National Nurses Week. On this day, nurses can visit a variety of vendors offering services to refresh, such as mini massages, healing touch, and aromatherapy.
Other Ochsner hospital campuses feature:
- Stress management classes
- Health and wellness fairs
- Relaxation rooms
- Foot massagers for nurses’ use
At the corporate level, another component of Ochsner’s Care for the Caregiver initiative is partnering with a nurse researcher to measure nurses’ perceptions of work-related quality of life. The data provides a pulse check on how nurses perceive their quality of working life, and the results provide information on work life and non-work life factors.
A Focus on the Healer
Ochsner Health System brings the HNHN approach to its entire staff population — beyond the caregivers. All employees have access to:
- The Pathway to Wellness Program, which is Ochsner Health System’s internal wellness program that helps promote healthy lifestyles among employees. Pathway to Wellness provides a variety of services including a weight management program, online wellness portal to track activities, health education to increase knowledge, and health coaching to help set and achieve wellness goals.
- An Employee Assistance Program, which provides services like face-to-face counseling sessions, stress management, and how to survive grief. It’s an optional support program for those who are going through a difficult time.
- The Connecting with Peers through Empathy (COPE) Program, which matches an employee who cares for patients and has been through a traumatic event with a supportive peer who wasn’t involved in the event. The supporter offers a confidential, nonjudgmental ear, along with advice on coping and resilience.
- A fitness center with several locations and discounted memberships. Access allows employees to get the physical activity they need to stay well.
- An Ochsner Eat Fit app, which provides full nutrition facts for Eat Fit-approved menu items at local restaurants throughout Louisiana. The app also offers hundreds of Eat Fit-approved recipes, brand-specific shopping guides, and links to connect with a health professional.
Why does Ochsner put so much emphasis on the well-being of its team members?
“It’s that passion to provide for others that often gives nurses permission to be at the bottom of their personal list of priorities,” said Ochsner’s System CNO & VP of Quality Tracey Moffatt, MHA, BSN, RN. “This mindset means that in such physically and emotionally demanding roles as caregivers, we are at risk for burnout.”
Addressing and preventing that burnout is essential to providing quality patient care, and that’s exactly what Ochsner strives to do.
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