Finding joy in a time of crisis
This blog was written by Rita Akiki, Nursing Director, Aboujaoude Hospital, Lebanon
The JOY @ WORK project supports nurses and all the hospital employees in their daily work especially in this time of crisis that the Lebanese population is enduring.
The aim of this project is to attain the absolute best working life.
As Nursing Director at the Aboujaoude Hospital, I visit each department in the hospital every day. I meet with the nurses and I congratulate them on their successes and listen to their concerns. However, since March 2021, the nurses are not joyful in their work as they face multiple challenges.
I still remember that meeting on a Tuesday morning with “Sevane”, a pediatric nurse. She used to be enthusiastic and full of energy; but that day, she was overwhelmed, and she asked for “CHANGE”: I can’t tolerate any more, I feel depressed. I want to go to another department or maybe it will be better if I change my career.”
These words made me think about how I could help her and help other nurses who feel the same way as her.
Nurse practice is characterised by rapid change and interpersonal challenges added to general life and situation difficulties. Relationships with patients and families pose unique dilemmas related to witnessing anguish and trauma over time.
At a Nursing Now Challenge webinar earlier this year, I listened to Professor Maureen Bisognano talk about her initiative to ask: What matters to you? in order to improve patient care and I realised that this is what we needed to improve staff morale.
The JOY @ WORK project asks the question: What matters to you? at the heart of everyday work.
Since creating a culture of resilience is a shared responsibility, we’ve created a nursing team that believes that joy is more than the absence of burnout. It’s a state of mind that we can generate to overcome our daily difficulties.
Nurses are having conversations about what matters to each one of them and this step builds the trust needed to identify their problems as they know that we are listening to their ideas and concerns. This initiative is also supporting the development of camaraderie within the nursing teams as it encourages all nurses to share their feelings and collaborate with all departments. Also, we are preparing for an open door that will welcome the children of nurses who work in the hospital. The children will discover the working world of their mothers and fathers, and they will enjoy multiple activities with the nursing team.