Nurse Retention Strategy: How to Make Employee Wellness Work

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 3rd, 2013

In a paper published in the May/June edition of the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found people who use wellness centers the most were most likely to experience an increase in their physical QOL (quality of life) scores, the percentage in this segment rising from 59.4 to 80.4%.

The researchers, however, found that mental health was another story.

According to the study, mental QOL measures didn’t change significantly for high users and declined for low users, with the percentage of those reporting a positive mental QOL decreasing from 51.4% to 34.5%.

Researchers wrote, “These findings suggest that the use of a wellness center can improve physical health and has limited or no effect on maintaining mental health.”

Dr. Matthew Clark, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the Mayo Clinic and the lead author of the study, suggests the findings point to the need for companies to take a more holistic view of their wellness initiatives.

“If we’re going to have a wellness center,” he says, “we should look at whether it actually improves your quality of life, including mental quality of life.” Too often, he says, employers focus on physical activities, such as walking programs and exercise programs, but overlook other areas such as mental well-being.

Mental and spiritual health are too often a forgotten component of the package. Since stress is a key problem for many healthcare givers, we need to meet their mental and spiritual needs as well.

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2 responses to “Nurse Retention Strategy: How to Make Employee Wellness Work”

  1. Valerie says:

    This is an interesting article. I can see why Employee Health programs fail their members spiritually. They don’t want to offend anyone. From what I’ve seen, they’ve are mostly “physical health” oriented.
    Guess that’s why I’ve pretty much stuck to private practice, one-on-one coaching.
    As an RN, I’ve always practiced holistic care.I hit hard in brain health, including fun in their lives and setting boundaries.
    I can’t think of any of my coaching clients that didn’t walk away with increased confidence, a great sense of boundary setting and an increased spiritual connection to their health and wellness. Not to mention healthy eating habits, weight loss, inches lost ,more energy, improved lipid panels and lower blood pressure.
    I’m in the process of developing my system into a 4 month program. It will be 4 weekly group teleclasses, along with 4 monthly personal coaching sessions. I don’t plan on losing the holistic approach with a group setting.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always felt that instead of lengthy periods of suspensions, that nursing (and medical) boards should require attendance to mandatory yoga classes and other holistic health compliments ie:stress management, massage therapy etc. as an integrated part of sanctions….rather than fines. Thinning out an already skeletal crew does nothingbut add to our stresses. Not only that, it would give those who have never experienced the benefits of those modalities a chance to learn that it isn’t just ‘quackery’. It actually keeps you healthy. We really need to stop punishing medical personnel who are just burnt out.

    It would also catch on with some patients if more physicians knew the benefits, and just maybe assist in changing the face of medicine.

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