Healthcare Design Can Affect Nurse Job Satisfaction

While reading an article recently in Health Facilities Management, I was immediately drawn in by the opening line:

“Architects and interior designers would be smart to keep the needs of nurses in mind the next time they design a new or renovated hospital.”

It reminded me of something we had posted back in August, Texas Hospital Follows Nurses’ Advice in Re-design. Actually, the similarities are uncanny, and a reassuring sign that real changes are taking place in the thinking and planning processes behind healthcare facility redesigns.  The next line sealed it:

“That’s because a new study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson RN Work Project finds that a physical work environment that facilitates efficient teamwork and communication can lead to higher job satisfaction for registered nurses and, therefore, reduced turnover.”

That reminded me of something we had posted back in July, A Time for Change in Clinician Workspaces, and served to confirm our thoughts about the clinician’s need for privacy, collaboration, and technology. In the article, Maja Djukic, R.N., assistant professor at New York University College of Nursing, and lead author on the RWJ study, says, “Clearly, the physical work environment can affect nurses’ ability to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. When investing in facilities’ construction or remodeling, health care leaders should look at features that enhance work group cohesion, nurse-physician relations and other factors that affect job satisfaction.” With turnover for nurses with two years’ experience hovering around 15%, and costs related to turnover approaching an estimated $728 million annually, ensuring a proper, productive work environment for these employees is increasingly crucial. These environments truly can be a strategic asset to increase the effectiveness of an organization, which in turn can lead to a positive impact on patient care and satisfaction.

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    John S.

    Physical work environment facilitates efficient teamwork and communication which leads to higher job satisfaction I think is in every profession, not just for registered nurses. But I do agree that I think the healthcare industry is more significant and important that employees are satisfied, which leads to better healthcare services being rendered. Reducing turnover, increasing the quality of care, lowering healthcare costs due to physical stress, and many more are all benefits of such scenarios. It’s crucial for the environment where a doctor or nurse works to be comfortable for them to properly do their duty, especially considering that they are already working tough hours and demanding conditions. It would be interesting to see exactly what kind of environmental changes and design elements should be employed for better working environments for the Registered Nurses.