tired medical personnel sitting in a hospital hallway

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News • Labour shortage countermeasures

Study: why many nurses and doctors quit their job (and how to make them stay)

Onboarding and mentoring programs for nurses and medical doctors can help retain them in hospitals and decrease the rotation of medical personnel, a recent article by Project METEOR researchers finds.

Researchers from Project METEOR (Mental health: focus on retention of healthcare workers) analysed articles published between 2012 and 2022 in three scientific literature databases: PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL, which discuss different types of interventions hospitals undertake to retain workers. Their article “Retaining Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review of Strategies for Sustaining Power in the Workplace”, published in the journal Healthcare, identifies 12 areas where hospital management can focus their activities: onboarding, programmes for transitioning to a different unit, stress coping, social support, extra staffing, coping with the demands of patient care, work relationships, development opportunities and department resources, job environment, work organisation, recruitment approach, and technological innovations. 

More than 50% of newly graduated nurses leave their job within the first year due to culture shock

Neeltje De Vries

The analysis shows that onboarding and mentorship programs for nurses limited the outflow of these professionals from hospitals. Additionally, several studies showed satisfactory results from introducing tools that help nurses and doctors cope with stress. 

“Many studies have demonstrated that support in the form of onboarding and mentorship is particularly important for nurses at the beginning of their career path, as more than 50% of newly graduated nurses leave their job within the first year due to culture shock,” says co-author Neeltje De Vries, an expert in nursing science from Spaarne Gasthuis. “Several studies also emphasised that new generations require more support in their workplace compared to previous ones.” 

The authors confirmed earlier findings that, salary is not the primary reason for leaving healthcare jobs in high-income countries. 

The analysis also demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all intervention. Nevertheless, studying success stories can help hospital managers design their programmes. When doing so, they should ensure that deliberate action matches their healthcare workers' needs and is in line with the hospital’s mission and vision. 

Source: METEOR Project


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