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Posts from June, 2015

Why Don’t Employees Participate in Wellness Programs?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 30th, 2015

Employees value wellness programs, but few participate. Understanding why they don’t can offer valuable insight for employers and help advisers hoping to increase engagement.

Seventy percent of employees say wellness is valuable, but just 9% take full advantage of the programs offered by their company, according to new research from GuideSpark, a Menlo Park, CA. HR software company.

nurse wellness program yogaThe most common reasons employees cited for lack of participation included being too busy, the program didn’t fit with their lifestyle, and not being fully aware of what programs were offered.

The type of programs that were important to employees surveyed included stress management, physical fitness, financial wellness, weight management, nutrition, sleep management and tobacco/alcohol cessation.

Proper communication is vital to increasing participation. Sharing information via multiple channels is the best way to reach all employees.

The study found that 63% of employees say they would participate in wellness programs if they were better suited to their lifestyle. Forty-eight percent say they’d participate if they weren’t working so hard, 45% want more incentives, 25% need a better understanding of what’s offered and 25% would join if their friends participated.

Making the program more social helps get younger employees involved. Having management involved also helps increase participation. But the survey found that employers aren’t doing enough when it comes to wellness.

– 46% wish their company provided better wellness benefits

– 38% wish their company would educate them more on all the wellness benefits provided

– 36% say their company doesn’t do enough to drive a culture of wellness

– 30% say their manager doesn’t support balancing work with staying fit

SelfCare for HealthCareis a culture-shifting wellness program that teaches employees to care for their minds, bodies and spirits. Contact me today to discuss what wellness programs you have tried in the past, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.

Night Shift Nurses at Increased Risk

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 26th, 2015

While working the night shift has been previously associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, a new study also links it to mortality.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that women working rotating night shifts for five years or more appeared to have a modest increase in all-cause mortality and fatal cardiovascular disease. The study also found that women with 15 years or more of rotating night shift work appeared to have a modest increase in lung cancer mortality.

Nurse Care The study focused on nearly 75,000 registered U.S. nurses, and analyzed 22 year’s worth of follow-up data compiled by the Nurses’ Health Study. Mortality from all causes appeared to be 11 percent higher with 6 to 14 years of rotating night shift work, and death from cardiovascular disease appeared to be between 19 and 23 percent higher.

While the researchers found no association between rotating shift work and any cancer mortality, they did find a 25 percent increase risk for lung cancer in those who worked a rotating night shift for 15 or more years.

Caring for nurses needs to be a top priority. Offering tools to care for them physically, mentally and spiritually will help them be healthier longer. Visit SelfCare for HealthCareto learn about how to care for your nurses so they can better care for patients. Contact me today to discuss your challenges with SelfCare.

How Women Can Prevent Heart Disease

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 23rd, 2015

Women can dramatically lower their likelihood of heart disease by following healthy living guidelines, according to a large long-term study.

The study found that women who followed six healthy living recommendations — such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise — dropped their chances of heart disease about 90 percent over 20 years, compared to women living the unhealthiest lifestyles.

The researchers also estimated that unhealthy lifestyles were responsible for almost 75% of heart disease cases in younger and middle-aged women.

The study’s lead author, Andrea Chomistek, an assistant professor at Indiana University Bloomington, found that a healthy lifestyle was also associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease among women who had already developed a cardiovascular risk factor like diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol.

Healthy Heart The study followed almost 90,000 nurses from 1991 to 2011. The women were between 27 and 44 years old when the study started.

The researchers focused on six behaviors described as healthy: not smoking, exercising at least 2.5 hours a week, having a normal weight, watching seven or fewer hours of television a week, eating a healthy diet, and drinking some alcohol but no more than one drink per day.

Since 91% of nurses are women, let’s work together to keep them healthy. Learn more about SelfCare for HealthCare™ – the transformative program that nourishes caretakers’ minds, bodies and spirits.

Best Healthcare Jobs of 2015

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 18th, 2015

Healthcare jobs topped the list of U.S. News & World Report‘s 100 Best Jobs of 2015, securing 7 of the top 10 spots.

Because the health sector offers good salary, future job prospects and growth, healthcare support jobs are expected to grow the most by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following rankings list the top 10 jobs in the healthcare sector for 2015 based on stress level, work-life balance, growth volume, growth rate, median salary, current employment rate and future job prospects, which compares the projected number of openings to the future number of job seekers:

best healthcare jobs

1. Dentist. Dentists earn a median salary of $146, 340 and maintain a good work-life balance. BLS expects dental jobs to continue to grow in over the next decade too, predicting 23,000 new dentist jobs by 2022.

2. Nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners secured a top spot due to the autonomy of the position and projected growth. BLS expects 37,000 new NP jobs by 2022. The median salary is $92,670, according to BLS.

3. Physician. Job prospects for physicians are expected to skyrocket over the next decade due to the physician shortage. 123,000 job openings are expected for physicians between 2012 and 2022. The median salary is $186,850.

4. Dental hygienist. Hygienists make a median salary of $71,110, but tend to have flexible schedules and often work part time.

5. Physical therapist. PTs have a projected growth rate of 36 percent by 2022 and make a median salary of $81,030.

6. Registered nurse. With the shift to team-based care, nursing jobs may be in higher demand. BLS forecasts 19.4 percent employment growth between 2012 and 2022. Nurses make a median salary of $66,220.

7. Physician assistant. PAs are a top job because they maintain an incredibly high level of employment: Just 1.4 percent are unemployed and 33,000 more jobs are expected to be added by 2022. PA compensation is highest in the home healthcare sector.

8. Diagnostic medical sonographer. Sonographers find work in a variety of settings, including outpatient care centers, universities and professional schools. They make a median salary of $66,410.

9. Occupational therapist. Occupational therapists make a median salary of $76,940. Home healthcare settings offer the best compensation.

10. Occupational therapy assistant. Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs are expected to grow rapidly, with predicted employment growth of 42.6 percent through 2022. Salaries can range from $34,870 to $74,000.

To learn how to recruit the nurses needed to fill the nursing shortage, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation about your nurse recruitment efforts.

How to Increase Employee Engagement

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 16th, 2015

employee engagement“Employee engagement is higher when workforces are satisfied with the health and well-being benefits their employer provides,” researchers reported. Two workplace solutions firms—Quantum Workplace and Limeade—teamed up to find out what employees would like to see in their benefits packages..

But the study also highlights a wide-ranging discrepancy between the benefits that employees want and the benefits they actually receive.

The survey gathered input from almost 2,000 participants in Quantum’s Best Places to Work program. The research compared the desired benefits to what was actually offered, and these results were reported:

– Stress management: Only 28% of employers provide stress-relief breaks, such as meditation, massages, or required breaks, yet more than 71% desire it.

– Nutrition: More than 73 percent of employees want healthy cafeteria or vending options at work, but fewer than half of employers provide it.

– Work-life balance: Nearly three-fourths of employees want flexible work hours, and those who do are nearly 20% more engaged. However, fewer than half of employers provide flexible work hours.

“Twelve years of conducting workplace research has shown that employee perceptions of benefits is the single lowest scoring survey category across virtually all companies,” said Greg Harris, president and CEO of Quantum Workplace. “But the needle can be moved. When employers use employee feedback to help drive the decisions they make, including the health and well-being benefits they provide, they can improve employee health, engagement, and performance.”

To learn how to increase employee engagement, work-life balance and SelfCare, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to talk about this healthcare wellness program for your staff.

Work Life Balance: Can Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 11th, 2015

Can losing just half an hour of sleep have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism? Yet another reason to strive for work life balance.

Researchers recruited 522 patients who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. At the beginning of the study, the participants’ height, weight and waist circumference were measured and samples of their blood analyzed for insulin sensitivity. Participants kept sleep diaries, from which their weekday “sleep debt” was calculated.

sleep deprived nurseThose who had weekday sleep debt were found to be 72% more likely to be obese, compared with participants with no weekday sleep debt. By follow-up at 6 months, the association between weekday sleep debt and obesity and insulin resistance was significant. At 12-month follow-up, the researchers calculated that for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt there was an associated 17% increased risk of obesity and 39% increased risk of insulin resistance.

Researchers from the University of Chicago published the results of their study into the associations between sleep loss and diabetes in the journal Diabetologia. The Chicago team found that after 3 nights of getting only 4 hours sleep, blood levels of fatty acids remain elevated, rather than peaking and receding overnight as they would normally, reducing the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars.

People often miss out on sleep during the week, because of social and work commitments, then try to catch up at weekends. Let’s encourage each other to turn off technology and go to sleep!

To learn more ways to care for your body, mind and spirit visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to give this life changing wellness program to your staff.

Employee Wellness and the Bottom Line

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 9th, 2015

Healthy Employees Come First

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 4th, 2015

When asked why they offer wellness programs as part of their benefits packages, companies tend to rank the health of their employees ahead of controlling premium costs.

This is what a survey of 443 human resources professionals proved, according to the HR nonprofit association World at Work.

yogaOf the organizations in the sample group, 96% reported supporting well-being programs for employees, and 75% said they intend to enrich those programs over the next two years.

Most would continue their well-being/wellness programs even if they shifted employees to some other type of health coverage, the study reported.

Forward thinking hospitals know that caring for their caregivers saves money. My SelfCare for HealthCareprogram improves employee health, increases patient satisfaction and saves hospitals money. Contact me today to explore giving this gift to your healthcare staff.

Where Do You Get Your Peace and Joy?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 2nd, 2015