Increased well-being at work through online communication in nursing? – also new employees would benefit from online orientation
Nowadays, health care environments are increasingly digital. The nature of the work has changed, and new tasks requiring digital skills are created. Good digital skills are important, so nursing staff need to maintain and develop their skills. The use of e-services can reduce face-to-face interaction, but on the other hand it allows things to be handled quickly and easily.
Could digital services be used to support the orientation and well-being of newly graduated workers in health care so that they would stay working in the field? Could digital chat support give more time for doing the actual patient work? Would there be then also more time to interact with patients and relatives?
Digital orientation of newly graduated workers in health care is a possibility
It is estimated that between 35 % and 60 % of newly graduated nurses leave their first job during the first year of work. The main reasons for this are the lack of support and guidance and excessive responsibility. Newly graduated nurses do not trust their ability to carry out assigned tasks as expected. Critical thinking and decision-making are challenging and the knowledge base of the recent graduate is still insufficient.
Picture 1. Digitalization brings more opportunities for orientation of newly graduated health care professionals. Picture: Pixabay
Effective orientation can reduce the staff turnover of newly graduated nurses in workplaces. Orientation refers to measures to ensure that a newly graduated nurse is familiar with the requirements and expectations of the working environment and work. In addition, good orientation supports the employee in the implementation of safe patient care.
Digitalization brings more and more opportunities for orientation. Digital orientation methods include, for example, electronic orientation materials, videos, manuals and games. However, it is important that orientation is also carried out face-to-face. Many workplaces utilise the combination of digital and face-to-face orientation.
A digital system for internal communication between medical staff to enhance well-being at work?
There are plenty of digital services available for clients. Fast communication channels are not necessarily utilized in internal communication of medical staff, however. Digitalization helps daily work because it helps to manage time. Rapid access to information decreases workload. Perhaps this could help to decrease stress and improve time management of health care professionals, including newly graduated nurses.
There are many interruptions in health care tasks and several simultaneous unfinished tasks. These reduce the smoothness of work and well-being at work. An essential part of well-being at work is that there is time to envision, get excited and develop new ways of working. Therefore, it is important to have digital solutions so that there would be time for these tasks. Digital solutions could also save time and enable the expertise of health care professionals be available when needed, also when new employees need support.
SECAPP is an example of a system that enables internal staff communication. It is mostly used in Finnish critical communication by public authorities but it also has possibilities for other kind of organization internal communication. The system works in real time as a mobile app and it’s easy to use. Also chat and videos can be used in this system. Could a system such as SECAPP be developed further so that it could be utilized for example as a fast information channel between colleagues and for training new employees?
Digitalization will change the working environment and routines also in health care. Technology is a key part of the health care working environment so changes are needed. Change requires a positive attitude and training of employees. It is also important to involve staff in the development of digital services. The opportunity to influence development makes services more efficient and increases motivation and well-being at work. However, it is important to remember that digitalization is just one tool, not a solution for everything.
Students of Welfare and Health Coordinator Master’s Degree Programme at Savonia UAS
Sanna Savela, Senior Lecturer in Languages, Savonia UAS
Marja-Liisa Rissanen, Principal Lecturer, Master School, Savonia UAS
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