Posts from January, 2016

Are You a Healthy Role Model?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 28th, 2016

Work Life Balance: High Stress Jobs Cause Strokes

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 26th, 2016

Need yet another reason to implement work life balance? A high-stress job, particularly one that is demanding but offers little personal control, may raise the risk for a stroke, according to Chinese researchers.

The studies analyzed six previously published studies from the United States, Sweden, Japan and one in Finland. Nearly 140,000 people were followed for up to 17 years. Studies showed that those with high-stress jobs had a 22% higher risk of stroke than those with low-stress jobs. Among women, the increased risk was even higher at 33%.

reduce work stressHigh-stress jobs often lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise, researchers said.

People in high-stress jobs were 58% more likely to have a stroke than those with low-stress jobs.

Previous studies have shown a connection between work stress and heart disease, but this is the first research to show that association for stroke.

It is vital for people with high-stress occupations to address these lifestyle issues.

To learn how to reduce stress and create work life balance, visit SelfCare for HealthCare.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 21st, 2016

Nurses Home Visits Improve Care of Mothers and Babies

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 19th, 2016

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act created the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program and provided $1.5 billion in funding for evidence-based home visits.

As a result, there are now 17 home visiting models approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

nurse homecare for mothers and babiesThe Nurse-Family Partnership is one of the largest and best-studied programs. Decades of research into how families fare after participating in it have documented reductions in the use of social programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, reductions in child abuse and neglect, better pregnancy outcomes for mothers and better language development and academic performance by their children.

Our nation will need more nurses to provide this evidence-based service. To recruit and retain nurses by teaching them how to care for their minds, bodies and spirits, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Bring this life-changing program to your employees…contact me today!

SelfCare: Winter Brings Increased Depression

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 14th, 2016

After the joy and busyness of the holidays comes cold and grey months and it’s not uncommon for some people to experience the winter blues.

selfcare_winter depressionIn fact, 4-6% of adults suffer from winter depression, and another 10-20% endure mild seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a subtype of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Researchers attribute this to lack of sunlight, which can disrupt the body’s internal clock and cause a drop in serotonin levels.

Health professionals have long prescribed light therapy as a treatment for SAD, which is shown to reduce symptoms by as much as 70%. There is another way to keep the winter blues at bay — exercise.

Many studies show that regular exercise increases serotonin production and lowers rates of depression. Every hour added to your week of exercise cuts your risk for depression in the future in half, experts say.

If you aren’t used to that much exercise, start slowly and gradually increase it every few days.

For greater commitment, find an accountability partner, a friend who exercises regularly or perhaps a class instructor.

To learn more ways to care for your mind, body and spirit, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program to amplify your current wellness initiatives.

Nurse Satisfaction: Are Nurses Satisfied with Their Jobs and Quality of Life?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 12th, 2016

Nearly 90% of nurses, regardless of age, are satisfied with their career choice, and 73% are satisfied with their current jobs, according to a survey was conducted by AMN Healthcare.

nurse satisfactionRNs ages 19-39 were less likely to believe the quality of care has generally declined (37%), compared with RNs 40-54 (56%) and RNs 55 and older (66%).

With the improving economy, approximately 23% of nurses age 55 and older plan to dramatically change their work life, citing retirement, taking a non-nursing job or working part-time.

To learn how to recruit and retain nurses, and improve nurse satisfaction, visit SelfCare for HealthCare.

Creating a “Culture of Health” for Employee Satisfaction

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 7th, 2016

A “culture of health” is something that most employers desire, but often lack in their workplaces.

A poll by Optum, a health care technology consultancy, found that while 64 percent of large employers say that creating a culture of health (COH) in the workplace is a top priority, only 19 percent admit to having succeeded in creating an environment in which employees “have the resources, tools and a support system that empowers and motivates them to take responsibility for their own health.”

The survey asked benefit professionals at 545 U.S. companies to rate their workplace’s culture of health on a scale of 1 to 7.

culture of health The most easily-identifiable difference between the two groups was the number of wellness programs. Employers with high ratings offered an average of 10 wellness and health management programs, compared to seven for those with lower ratings. Similarly, nearly half of those with high ratings had offered such programs for at least five years, compared with only a quarter of low-ranking companies.

While 56 percent of COH employers report that their wellness programs led to higher employee satisfaction, only 15 percent of non-COH employers believe the same is true for their wellness initiatives.

To learn how to create a wellness program to boost employee health and satisfaction, visit SelfCare for HealthCare.

Nurse Recruitment: VA Hospitals Will Need 40,000 Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 5th, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs will need nearly 40,000 registered nurses in the next three years to meet the demands of more veterans seeking care within the system and to replace retiring nurses.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that 9.1 percent of the VA’s existing RNs left in 2014. The system faces a severe shortage in the next five years when 20 percent of its nurses will be eligible for retirement. The report also noted that 12 percent of nurses who left in 2012 did so during their first year of employment.

Recruit VA Nurses The top reasons why nurses left the system were retirement and career advancement through opportunities elsewhere. The shortage and high turnover has led to a critical situation as the VA has trouble meeting the existing demand for services and strives to serve those who have been denied timely care.

Although the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has many system-wide initiatives to recruit and retain its nurse workforce, the GAO report found that three of the four VA medical systems had difficulty fulfilling the initiatives. The report identified that troubles were due to lack of sufficient administrative support, competition with private sector, a limited number of qualified and available nurses in rural locations and employee dissatisfaction.

What’s the best way to improve nurse recruitment and nurse retention? Visit SelfCare for HealthCare.